Tiger Woods and his Swedish-born wife officially divorced Monday, nine months after his middle-of-the night car crash outside his home set off shocking revelations that the world's most famous athlete had been cheating on his wife.
"We are sad that our marriage is over and we wish each other the very best for the future," Woods and Elin Nordegren said in a joint statement released by their lawyers.
The divorce was granted in Bay County Circuit Court in Panama City, Fla., about 375 miles away from their Isleworth home outside Orlando. The couple had married in October 2004 in Barbados and have a 3-year-old daughter, Sam, and a 19-month-old son, Charlie.
Terms of the divorce were not disclosed, except that they will "share parenting" of their two children.
The divorce was finalized by Bay County Circuit Judge Judy Pittman Biebel during a brief hearing in a conference room in her chambers, according to Biebel's judicial assistant Kim Gibson. The hearing was very brief, only about five or 10 minutes. Both Woods and Nordegren were present, along with their lawyers, Gibson said.
"I don't comment on active cases," Thomas J. Sasser, Woods' divorce attorney, said. When asked why they chose to file in Panama City, Sasser said only it was a joint decision by the lawyers.
The petition said the marriage was "irretrievably broken" and that Woods' wife asked to have her maiden name - Elin Maria Pernilla Nordegren - restored.
The couple signed a marital settlement agreement on July 3 and July 4, the weekend of the AT&T National outside Philadelphia, where Woods failed to break par in a PGA Tour event for the first time in 11 years.
The sordid sex scandal cost Woods three major corporate sponsors - Accenture, AT&T and Gatorade - worth millions of dollars, and he lost his image as the gold standard in sports endorsements. A month after the scandal became public, Woods spent two months in therapy at a Mississippi Clinic with hopes of saving his marriage.
"While we are no longer married, we are the parents of two wonderful children and their happiness has been, and will always be, of paramount importance to both of us," they said in the statement. ... "The weeks and months ahead will not be easy for them as we adjust to a new family situation, which is why our privacy must be a principal concern."
Woods is to play this week at The Barclays, where he needs a good performance to extend his PGA Tour season and try to show he is worth picking for the Ryder Cup. It will be his first tournament as a single man since he finished ninth in a World Golf Championship in Ireland in October 2004.