Last month, president Alvaro Colom and his wife Sandra Torres (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk) filed for divorce and on Friday a family court in Guatemala has approved the divorce.
In a tearful address to the nation last month, Ms Torres said she and Mr Colom were putting their love for Guatemala ahead of their “great and solid” love for each other.
The court’s decision means the couple will have to live apart, but it also allows Ms Torres to stand for election to be the next president in September.
Already a divorcee, Ms Torres is Mr Colom’s third wife and she has played a prominent role in his presidency. She supervised the government’s poverty relief programmes.
The Guatemalan constitution bans close blood relatives of the president and those of “second level of affinity” from running for office.
They have been married for eight years and their divorce provoked great controversy.
Several legal challenges to the divorce were rejected by the court, as the opposition has accused the president and now ex-first lady of fraud.
The main opposition candidate for September’s presidential election, former General Otto Perez Molina, told the BBC he believed Ms Torres’ candidacy would still violate the constitution.
If she is elected in September, Sandra Torres would be Guatemala’s first female president.
However Otto Perez Molina has a lead in the polls thanks to his promise of a tough line against rising crime.