Chris was married with Malaak Compton-Rock for almost 20 years. He has daughters Lola, 12, and Zahra, 10, has announced their split ''after much contemplation'' and says their children remain her ''top priority.''
In a statement to PEOPLE.com, Chris said: ''After much contemplation and 19 years of marriage, Chris and I have decided to go our separate ways.
''Being fortunate enough to lead a life of service by working with those most vulnerable makes me well aware of life's blessings, even when faced with difficulties. While recognising that this is a significant change, my children remain at the centre of my life and their well-being is my top priority. It is in this spirit that I sincerely ask that their privacy and the privacy of our family be respected during this transition in our lives.''
The Top Five star's lawyer, Robert S. Cohen, also confirmed the news, saying: ''Chris Rock has filed for divorce from his wife, Malaak. This is a personal matter and Chris requests privacy as he and Malaak work through this process and focus on their family.''
Rock, has recently insisted that he leads ''a normal life'' and fame hasn't changed him. He said: ''I don't have a guy drive me around in a Bentley all day. I like money, and having people around costs money! In my normal life, I'm just with my kids most of the time. I'm a writer at heart. Writing is a nerd job. There's nothing cool about writing.''