Kelsea Ballerini files for divorce from Morgan Evans: ‘Deeply Difficult Decision’

It’s over for Kelsea Ballerini and Morgan Evans.

The “Heartfirst” singer, 28, filed for divorce from the “Kiss Somebody” musician, 37, on Friday after nearly five years of marriage, court documents obtained by PEOPLE show.

“They’ve been working on their marriage for a long time. Prior to that they had divorced privately once before and were in therapy for several years,” a source tells PEOPLE. “They gave it their best, but unfortunately came to the decision to officially separate.”

Morgan Evans (L) and Kelsea Ballerini

Morgan Evans (L) and Kelsea Ballerini

Michael Loccisano/Getty

Ballerini addressed the split on her Instagram Story on Monday morning, writing, “Friends, I’ve always tried to share my life with you in a real and vulnerable way, while protecting the layers of my personal life as they unfold. now public record , so I wanted you to hear from me directly that I am going through a divorce.

This deeply difficult decision is the result of a journey of love, growth and effort that has finally come to an end. It’s hard to find the words here…but I feel extremely grateful for the years of marriage to Morgan and hopeful for the seasons to come.

With very active programs coming up, keep in mind that we are both fragile, actively healing and showing our best.”

RELATED: Kelsea Ballerini Reveals She and Husband Morgan Evans ‘Go to Couples Therapy All the Time’

Kelsey Ballerina and Morgan Evans

Kelsey Ballerina and Morgan Evans

Kelsea Ballerini/instagram Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini

The country singers first met in March 2016 while co-hosting the CMC Awards in Evans’ native Australia, got engaged in December and married a year and a half later in an intimate oceanside ceremony in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Ballerini told PEOPLE in November that she and Evans were big believers in couples therapy and went “all the time.”

“We have really good pairs of friends that we holiday with, but we also get to sit down and have the tough conversations,” she said.

In her poetry book Feel your waypublished last November, Ballerini also discussed how her parents’ divorce when she was young affected her future relationships and views on marriage.

“I swore I was never going to get married,” she told PEOPLE at the time, adding that her parents had a “super messy and really tiring” divorce. “For so long, I saw their marriage as their divorce. As I got older, I was able to have conversations with them about their marriage, pre-divorce, and I realized that there was beauty there, there was love there at some point. That helped me realize that I could find it.”

ballerina kelsea

ballerina kelsea

Getty Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini

Because of their split, she said she never thought of marriage “as a fairy-tale thing, riding off into the sunset,” but something that was “worth” the work.

In April, Ballerini again highlighted the benefits of the treatment In additionsaying that she and Evans go both separately and together.

“I think it’s very important,” he said. “Obviously we have a weird life. Like, we’re both really busy and we don’t spend that much time together… And we’re just trying to find, like, the things that make us.”

RELATED: Kelsea Ballerini and Morgan Evans Relationship Timeline

Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini

Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini

The two-time Grammy Award nominee is currently gearing up for the release of her new album on September 23rd SUBJECT TO CHANGES. Ballerini announced the album, her fifth, in July and said it was largely inspired by her ability to embrace change and all that comes with it.

“In my younger years, the idea of ​​change scared me. It turned out to be an impersonal force that shaped my past with uncertainty,” she said in a voiceover shared on social media. “Only in the gift of growth have I learned that in the harsh and constant confrontation of life, living happens. That when I clench my fists, dig in my heels, and unravel the architecture built by youth, true transformation can happen.”

“Oooooh let’s go… 🔥🔥🔥” Evans commented at the time.

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