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 very long time. Prior to this they had separated privately once before and have been in therapy for several years,” a source tells PEOPLE. “They gave it their best go but unfortunately arrived at the decision to formally separate.”

Morgan Evans (L) and Kelsea Ballerini

Michael Loccisano/Getty

Ballerini addressed the split on her Instagram Story Monday morning, writing, “Friends, I’ve always tried my best to share my life with you in a real and vulnerable way, while also protecting layers of my personal life as they unfold. This is 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 ultimately has 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 next seasons.

With very active schedules coming up, please be mindful that we are both fragile, actively healing, and showing up the best we can.”

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

Kelsea Ballerini and Morgan Evans

Kelsea Ballerini 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, were engaged that December and tied the knot 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 couples friends that we vacation with, but we also can sit down with and have the hard conversations,” she said.

In her poetry book Feel Your Way Throughpublished 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 drawn-out” split. “For so long, I just viewed their marriage as their divorce. As I got older, I was able to have conversations with them both about their marriage, pre-divorce and realized that there was beauty there, there was love there at some point . That helped me realize that I could find that.”

kelsea ballerina

kelsea ballerina

Getty Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini

Because of their split, she said she never thought of marriage “as a fairytale-esque, ride-off-into-the-sunset kind of thing,” but something that was “worth” the work.

In April, Ballerini again touted the benefits of therapy to Extrasaying that she and Evans go both separately and together.

“I think it’s really important,” she said. “Obviously we have a strange life. Like, we are both really busy and don’t get to spend as much time together… And just trying to find, like, the things that work for 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 Sept. 23 release of her new album Subject to Change. Ballerini announced the album, her fifth, in July, and said it was largely inspired by her newfound ability to embrace change and all that comes with it.

“In my younger years, the idea of ​​change scared me. It had proven to be a faceless force that patterned 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 stark and constant juxtaposition of life, living happens. That when I unclench my fists, undig my heels and unravel the architecture built by youth, a true metamorphosis can happen.”

“Ooooooh here we go… 🔥🔥🔥” Evans commented at the time.

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