Fergie and Josh Duhamel Separate After 8 Years of Marriage: 'We Are and Will Always Be United'

The couple tells PEOPLE exclusively in a joint statement they "will always be united in our support of each other"

After eight years of marriage, Fergie and Josh Duhamel are going their separate ways, they confirm to PEOPLE exclusively.

“With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year,” the couple said in a joint statement. “To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family.”

The couple — who share a 4-year-old son, Axl — have been honest about the joys and challenges of parenting together.

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“I have no idea what I’m doing half the time,” Duhamel previously told Ellen DeGeneres. “She’s definitely more evolved than I am, and more patient,” he said. “But I feel like I’m much more – you know, having a kid when I was 40 years old is much different than having one at 22, so I’m a little bit more mature than I was then.”

While Fergie, 42, and Duhamel, 44, haven’t been spotted in public recently, they looked like a happy family while celebrating their eighth wedding anniversary in January.

They also simultaneously gushed about each other on social media while celebrating the milestone. “8 Years!! Love you babe,” wrote Duhamel.

In May, the actor also opened up about his marriage to Haute Living, saying the duo share “a lot of love for our son and have a good time together.”

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