After 25 years of marriage, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, have separated, amidst confirmation of Arnold\’s 13-year-old illegitimate child with a former housekeeper. But it seems that a split has been a long time coming, at least for Maria. It has been reported that Maria has contemplated divorce for several years, but each time a family death has taken precedence: first, her mother, then her uncle, then her father. Now, in light of the confirmation of Arnold\’s illegitimate child and additional accusations of impropriety, coupled with the easing of her professional responsibilities and her childrens\’ growing up, the time seems to be right for her to finally end their relationship. And now, as so frequently happens, apparently Arnold is trying very hard to save his marriage. According to one source, “He could not be sweeter now that she\’s left him.”

It seems to be a matter of too little, too late.”Maria has already begun to move on from her failed marriage. She and Arnold do talk, they have to — they have four children together. But, Maria has made it clear to Arnold that there is no chance at a reconciliation. Arnold finally seems to be accepting this, but he doesn’t like it,” one source said.

Things between the pair remain amicable; however there appears to be little chance of reunion. Neither has filed for divorce, yet, but both have hired attorneys and appear to be working out a settlement. Their apparent goal is to reach a mutually agreed upon arrangement before filing that will benefit their children while sparing them from the fallout, as much as possible.

“We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives. We consider this a private matter, and neither we nor any of our friends or family will have further comment.” The couple said in a joint statement.

As far as what the future holds for them now, Arnold has always been very good at reinventing himself: from bodybuilder to action-movie star to governor of California. Maria has been politically active and she\’s a writer and former journalist.

Regarding their split, working together will be the best way to proceed. Mediation could be the optimal choice for Arnold and Maria. It seems that neither one is looking for a fight. A big, nasty battle is how divorce lawyers usually make their money. Employing a mediator who is also an knowledgeable divorce attorney can help them answer legal questions, draw up the required documents and negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement. The advantage of mediation in a case like Arnold and Maria’s is that the details of the discussion leading up to a settlement can remain private. There is little-to-no airing of dirty laundry, no public conflict. The nasty aspects of their divorce may never be known if they avoid a court battle. It seems that an amicable split is their intention, from the start. Mediation can help it remain that way.