It seems Nicholas Sparks‘ marriage did not have a storybook ending for quite some time.

On Tuesday, Jan. 6, ‘The Notebook’ author, 49, and his wife, Cathy, announced they were separating after 25 years of marriage. But now, a new report claims the couple’s wedded bliss actually ended several months ago.

According to ‘TMZ,’ Nicholas and Cathy allegedly filed a postmarital agreement stating neither party would seek alimony from the other in their impending breakup (and assumed subsequent divorce) back in August 2014.

nicholas sparks and family

Nicholas with Cathy and three of his children at the LA premiere of ‘The Lucky One’ in April 2012.

“Cathy and I have separated,” the couple told ‘People’ of the breakup earlier this week.

“This is, of course, not a decision we’ve made lightly. We remain close friends with deep respect for each other and love for our children. For our children’s sake, we regard this as a private matter.”

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The couple married in 1989 and are parents to five children: sons Miles, Ryan, and Landon and twin daughters, Lexie and Savannah.