Cheryl has announced her two and a half year relationship with Liam Payne is over.
The singer, 35, who shares young son Bear with the One Direction star, 24, confirmed their split in a tweet addressed to her 7million Twitter followers on Sunday evening.
She wrote: 'We are sad to announce that we are going our separate ways. It's been a tough decision for us to make.
'We still have so much love for each other as a family. Bear is our world and we ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate our way through this together.'
Split: Cheryl has announced her two and a half year relationship with Liam Payne is over
Moments later Liam shared the same tweet with his own followers on the micro-blogging site.
It's understood that the One Direction star has already moved out of the lavish £5 million mansion he shared with Cheryl and Bear in leafy Surrey.
According to The Sun, the couple had mutually agreed to separate a fortnight ago following months of speculation regarding the state of their relationship.
A source told the publication: 'Cheryl and Liam worked really hard on their relationship – they had troubles earlier this year and were able to get through them.
'But they’re in different stages of their lives and, after a lot of careful thought, came to a decision that it’s best for everyone if they do go their separate ways.
All over: Moments later Liam shared the same tweet with his own followers
Cheryl and Liam split - what will happen to their assets?
Chris Fairhurst, Partner with McAlister Family Law and a specialist in the field of co-habitation agreements, said: 'We know that Cheryl and Liam are not married but have been living together for some time, and many assume that this makes them common law partners – but the common law partner myth is just that – a myth.
The fact that they have lived together has no impact on any division of assets. As both parties are independently wealthy, it might be assumed that having a child together also has no impact financially, but there is a considerable disparity in the couple’s reported wealth: Liam’s £50 million to Cheryl’s £20 million* (*Spears magazine).
'Given that there have been rumours of a split for some months, but silence from both parties on the subject, it is possible the couple have drawn up a separation agreement, which is a deed that is witnessed and therefore potentially binding, like a contract. This agreement could cover everything from finances to whether either individual can talk to the press. If a Non-Disclosure Agreement has been signed (such as that allegedly in operation between Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels) then breaking that agreement by talking to the press could have serious implications for any financial arrangements.
'If Cheryl spends greater time caring for the couple’s son, Bear, she may wish to make a claim in respect of child support, in line with Schedule One of the Children’s Act. And since they lived together at Liam’s £5.1 million mansion in Surrey, it is unlikely Cheryl will have any claim on the property either, unless she had an existing legal or beneficial interest in it.
'If either of them has a pension fund, then since they are not married, neither has to right to claim on the other’s.'
'He still cares for her and she cares for him. They still have an ongoing relationship together. They have a baby together.'
The announcement comes little more than 24-hours after Cheryl celebrated her 35th birthday, a milestone party Liam failed to attend despite flying back to the United Kingdom earlier that day.
Cheryl and Liam, who welcomed Bear in March 2017, have not been seen together publicly in four months, with February's BRIT Awards the last time fans saw them walking the carpet as a couple.
Just last week Liam spoke fondly of the former Girls Aloud singer while admitting that she had made the first move by 'tickling him' when they reunited on The X Factor in 2014.
'Chez kind of made the first move on me if I'm honest. She tickled my hair. I thought "oh you're into this". And now look... a few years later...' he told Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw.
The couple were plagued by split rumours after a surprise red carpet appearance at the BRITs - with fans claiming their body language looked forced.
Sources told MailOnline the pair were struggling to find quality time together, as they juggle their busy careers and care for their baby son.
The insider claimed their relationship was 'strained', as the former One Direction star was spending nights away from home and touring the world while she looked after Bear.
Yet, Cheryl was quick to blast rumours of friction in their relationship in a series of furious tweets, posted shortly after the annual ceremony.
Defending their relationship, she wrote: 'Oh stop no one cares who's been speculatively arguing or not in their relationship use your platform to put something productive in your columns.'
And referring to the recent opening of her Prince's Trust centre in Newcastle, she went on: 'I opened a centre this week that could help thousands of youth!!!!'
Before adding of their BRITs appearance: '...Oh and your 'stunt' theories are just ludicrous and a bit weird'.
Liam also broke his silence on claims his relationship with Cheryl was 'effectively over' a week before the BRIT Awards.
Proud father: Liam welcomed son Bear with Cheryl in February 2017
Talking about reports a split was imminent, he told The Evening Standard's ES Magazine : 'The funniest thing [about the speculation was that] a week before we were getting married. The next week we're splitting up.'
'For me, I just like to think we're somewhere in the middle. You know, we have our struggles — like of course I'm not gonna sit here and say that everything's absolutely fine and dandy, because of course you go through different things, and that's what a relationship is.'
He went on to say that their rough patch was inevitable but they were focusing on riding the storm 'together'.
'There was always going to be a little bit of tenseness in the way we sort ourselves out, but tell me a relationship in the world that doesn't go through a spot like that?'
However the pair were understood to be on a make-or-break holiday just weeks after the BRITs, with sources claiming their relationship was in 'serious trouble.'
An insider told The Sun: 'This is make or break time. Their relationship has been in serious trouble for several weeks and Liam feels a holiday together with Bear will do them the world of good.
'He's kept the location a closely guarded secret and only Cheryl and their closest family know where they're headed. One thing is certain, Liam plans to spoil Cheryl rotten for two weeks.'
Liam and Cheryl - who have a 10-year age gap and first met when he auditioned for the X Factor at 14 - confirmed reports that they were dating in February 2016.
Cheryl later kept fans guessing for months before confirming her pregnancy in the most public way – at a L'Oreal photoshoot, in which she posed in a close-fitting black dress and cradled her bump.
The couple confirmed the birth of son bear on Mother's Day 2017, posting identical Instagram posts of Liam cradling their newborn baby.
'My close friends and family know there are very few times when I'm left speechless...wow!' Liam captioned the shot.
'I'm incredibly happy to welcome our new baby boy into the world, it's a moment that I will never forget for the rest of my life and my favourite memory I have so far.
'I'm completely in awe of his incredible mother and how she has been the whole way through this, she's really made my dreams come true.
'We haven't named him yet but he's already capturing hearts including mine. I feel very blessed. Happy Mother's Day everyone!'
Cheryl was last seen on Wednesday as she headed to a charity event at St James' Palace in London.
The singer turned heads by going braless in her slinky lime gown, as she arrived at the event with a string of stars.
On Friday, Cheryl celebrated her birthday with former Girls Aloud bandmates Nicola Roberts and Kimberly Walsh, documenting her night in a string of Instagram posts.
MailOnline has contacted Liam and Cheryl's representatives for further comment.
Close friends: On Friday, Cheryl celebrated her birthday with former Girls Aloud bandmates Nicola Roberts and Kimberly Walsh, documenting her night in a string of Instagram posts
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