Joe Giudice Posts Sweet Mother's Day Tribute to Ex Teresa: 'I Will Always Be Grateful to You'

"I know while I'm not around you will always do whatever needs to be done to make sure our girls are safe," Joe Giudice said

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Joe Giudice is sending some love to his estranged wife Teresa Giudice.

On Sunday, Joe, who current lives in Italy, wished the Real Housewives of New Jersey star a happy Mother's Day with a sweet video montage on Instagram that featured photos of their four daughters: Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 10.

"I want to start by telling you how thankful I am for you," Joe, 47, wrote. "I will never be able to say it enough times; THANK YOU. Thank you for everything."

"I know while I’m not around You will always do whatever needs to be done to make sure our girls are safe," he added. "You are beautiful and wonderful mother I will always be grateful to you."

PEOPLE broke the news back in December that Teresa and Joe were splitting after 20 years together. A source close to the pair said that at the time that the two weren’t exploring divorce proceedings yet.

On an episode of Bravo’s digital RHONJ After Show in February, Teresa shared how their daughters reacted to the news of their separation.

"They were fine with it. They didn’t say anything,” the Bravo star said. “They had nothing to say. I guess if they were not happy with it, I would have heard about it. I didn’t hear anything so, I’m happy about that. No news is good news.”

“It’s been a long time [coming],” she added.

Joe Giudice
The Giudice family. Joe Giudice/Instagram

Joe has been living in Italy since October, seven months after he was released from his 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy. He was initially transferred to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to wait out his appeal decisions after being released in March 2019, but due to rough condition inside the ICE, he requested to go to Italy.

Last month, Joe's third deportation appeal was denied.

"We have always maintained that Joe Giudice belongs in the United States with his family, not in Italy," his attorney James J. Leonard told PEOPLE on April 29. "The immigration laws in our country are both draconian and antiquated and need to be revisited by forward-thinking members of Congress."

RELATED VIDEO: RHONJ- Teresa Giudice Says She Spent Over $1 Million Paying Joe's Legal Fees and Back Taxes

Despite the news, Leonard said Giudice was "very positive about life."

"He's in Italy doing everything he can to keep busy, and stay healthy. I know he's working on some projects that I'm sure you will hear about soon. For now, it's day at a time like everyone else."

Joe was born in Italy and lived there for a year before his parents relocated to America. He never obtained American citizenship and per U.S. law, immigrants can be deported if they are convicted of “a crime of moral turpitude” or an “aggravated felony.”

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