American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez has announced that she and husband Marc Anthony are to divorce after seven years of marriage

The couple, who have three-year-old twins Max and Emme, revealed the news in a joint statement on Friday.

“We have decided to end our marriage,” the statement said. “This was a very difficult decision. We have come to an amicable conclusion on all matters.

“It is a difficult time for all involved and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time.”

The singer and actress – whose hit films include Out of Sight and The Wedding Planner – married the Puerto Rican singer in 2004 soon after calling off her engagement to actor Ben Affleck.

The pair worked together on several occasions during their marriage, most recently performing a duet during the final of American Idol in May.

They also announced plans for a TV show, Q’Viva! The Chosen earlier this year, which would aim to find the best performers in Latin music and dance.

Jennifer has been married twice before, to Cuban-born restaurateur Ojani Noa, which ended in 1998, and to dancer Cris Judd, whom she divorced in early 2003.