The film stars have been married for seven years and have two children together, but sources close to the situation say the 30-year-old Witherspoon has begun discussions with celebrity divorce lawyer Robert Kaufman, TMZ.com reported.
"We are saddened to announce that Reese and Ryan have decided to formally separate," said the couple's representative. "They remain committed to their family and we ask that you please respect their privacy and the safety of their children at this time."
One source close to the couple said the "Walk the Line" actress' visit to Kaufman's office was due to a series of "cumulative" events in the couple's marriage, the Web site said.
DISCUSS AND COMMENT ON THIS STORY Reality TV World now offers Facebook Comments on our stories. To post a comment, log into Facebook and then 'Add' your comment. To report spam or abuse, click the 'X' in the upper right corner of the comment box.