Charles Sykes/Getty
Emily Strohm
October 07, 2014 08:20 PM

With Teresa Giudice scheduled to report to prison on Jan. 5 to serve a 15-month sentence for fraud charges, the mom of four is focusing on her husband and daughters before the family is split up.

“At the end of the day they are people,” Teresa’s crisis manager and legal coach Wendy Feldman tells PEOPLE. “If anything, this will be a transformational experience and they are looking to the future.”

The couple were sentenced to jail time in a Newark federal court on Oct 2. for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud – and were ordered to serve staggered sentences starting with Teresa on Jan. 5. Once she is released, Joe will begin serving 41 months and will likely face deportation at the end of his jail term.

“You know, I would have been much happier if I was just going,” Joe told Andy Cohen during an exclusive one-on-one sit-down with the Giudices for a Watch What Happens Live special. But despite being split apart, the reality star plans to visit Teresa as much as possible.

“He told me he’s going to come and see me twice a week,” she said. “I’m like, ‘You’re not going to come twice a week, come once a week because the girls are busy and they have busy schedules.’ ”

Even though he will be apart from Teresa, Joe plans to step up when it comes to taking care of his girls Audriana, 5, Milania, 8, Gabriella, 9, and Gia, 13.

“It’s going to be a lot of work, but they are my daughters and I gotta do what I gotta do. I guess I’ll be the housewife.”

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