Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice are separating after 20 years of marriage, a source close to the Real Housewives of New Jersey told PEOPLE Tuesday. The Bravo couple has "been separated" the insider explained, following the Giudice family's reunion in Italy, where Joe awaits the final appeal ruling on his deportation order following the completion of his prison sentence earlier this year.
"They discussed their future when Teresa and the girls went to Italy in early November and they agreed that each had to move on. They are doing so amicably and very slowly," the source said. "Joe has been out on a few dates, Teresa has not. She has been too busy with the girls, with work obligations and taking care of her father. She is happy for Joe . They have been very friendly with one another and are very supportive of each other's happiness. They still love one another, but as Teresa told Andy Cohen on the [Watch What Happens Live] special, they are separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Neither is interested in a long distance relationship."
Despite the separation, "there are no plans for divorce"at this time, the source said, adding that "both of them are focused"on daughters Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 10. All four of the Giudice daughters will be visiting Joe for Christmas in his new home of Italy, but Teresa will stay in New Jersey with her father.
RHONJ fans have been expecting this separation since a judge ruled that Joe would not be allowed to live in the U.S. following the completion of his 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud, as he never applied for citizenship after moving to the country from his native Italy as a child.
"I want the best for him. I want him to happy and I want him to be successful. But I don't know if we could stay together, him living across the country," Teresa admitted in an October WWHL special with Joe, saying if her husband wasn't allowed to return to the U.S., "I don't see it working."
Of her daughters, Teresa added, "I think they get it. I don't think they want to see it happen, obviously, but I think they understand. Because the way I explained it to them, how are we going to live apart? I don't think he would be faithful. I think he would have someone there and have me here. I just don't want to live that life. I just don't."
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