Trace Adkins Divorce a Long Time Coming

3/27/2014 11:25 AM PDT

Trace Adkins -- Divorce a Long Time Coming


Trace Adkins' life sounds like a country song -- a drunken fight, rehab, the death of his father and now a divorce -- and it was anything but a spur-of-the-moment decision.

Trace's wife, Rhonda, filed divorce papers this week to end their 17-year marriage ... but Trace says they're still united in a way more important way -- making sure their children come first. The kids are 16, 12 and 9.

We're told Rhonda's decision to divorce was a long time coming -- and both say they're torn up by it.

It's been nothing but bad news for Trace since January ... when he got into a drunken fight with an impersonator on a cruise ship. He entered rehab to deal with his booze problem ... then bailed on rehab two weeks later to tend to his ailing father, who died in early Feb.  

And then this week ... the divorce. It's unclear if the split is related to his alcohol issues.