Both John Edwards and his wife of 30 plus years Elizabeth Edwards have now confirmed that they are separated. Earlier this month, former North Carolina Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards admitted paternity of a child by another woman. The Edwards apparently separated prior to that announcement.
“It is an extraordinarily sad moment, but I love my children more than anything and still care deeply about Elizabeth,” the former politician said in a statement. A spokeswoman for Elizabeth Edwards released a statement saying she’s “moving on with her life” after a “excruciatingly painful period for her.”
Elizabeth Edwards apparently decided to leave after a mediated visit last month in which she met the two-year-old daughter of her husband and his former mistress Rielle Hunter.
The couple now reside separately. She lives in the family’s Chapel Hill home. He splits his time between an annex to that residence that they refer to as “the barn” and their beach house 160 miles away. Apparently, neither party has yet filed for divorce. Elizabeth has reportedly had divorce papers ready to file for the last year. She is still undergoing cancer treatment and will make a filing decision based on her health, according to sources.
In North Carolina family law, a couple can obtain a divorce only after they have been separated for a year.
I would imagine that the Edwards family has the appropriate estate planning in place but it is important to note that, in general, separated but not divorced spouses still have inheritance rights under the law. And children who are not listed in a will may still have certain inheritance rights as well. It is always important to update your estate planning whenever family dynamics change to make sure that everyone is taken care of in the event of your death in the manner you wish to see them taken care of.