In a joint statement on Monday, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his 25-year wife Maria Shriver have announced that they are separating.

This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us, the two said in the statement. After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together. At this time, we are living apart while we work on the future of our relationship.

The couple further informed that they will continue to parent their four children together and pleaded to the media and public for privacy.

The Los Angeles Times has reported that Shriver, who was a correspondent for NBC news, has already moved out of their Brentwood mansion while the two determine their next step in marriage.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Shriver was the second child of politician Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of US President John F. Kennedy. She was later introduced to Arnold in 1977 by Tom Brokaw at a charity tennis tournament being held at her mother's home. She married Schwarzenegger on April 26, 1986, in Hyannis, Massachusetts, at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church.

After Arnold took office as the 38th Governor of California, Shriver took on several key responsibilities as the first lady. She even defended her husband during a period when Arnold faced close scrutiny by the media for his alleged relationships with women during his movie career.

The couple has not yet announced their plans for a divorce but merely stated they are working on the future of their marriage.