Christina and Tarek El Moussa
Christina and Tarek El Moussa host the HGTV design reality show Flip or Flop Getty

Flip Or Flop stars Tarek El Moussa and his estranged wife Christina shocked fans when they announced their separation on Monday (12 December). Although the public announcement was long overdue – as they had been living separately for months – it has now emerged that the co-hosts are yet to finalise their divorce.

According to reports, the estranged couple have delayed their legal separation over concerns of splitting their massive fortune that they have accumulated over the years.

"Christina and Tarek have separated but will be slow to pull the trigger on an actual divorce because both sides know the results will be costly," a source told Hollywood Life adding, "Besides figuring out custody of their children, together the couple has tons of assets they have accumulated that neither one is quite yet ready to let go of."

"They own multiple properties, luxury cars including a Bentley, and an Escalade, tons of cash and lots of other big-ticket items too. She is currently living with their kids in their massive $3 million dollar [£2.3m] home in Yorba Linda, California and Tarek's presence in the house has been replaced by a team of nannies," another source told the gossip website.

Christina and Tarek's seven-year marriage was reportedly filled with marital problems, despite them being portrayed as a "happily married couple" on their show Flip Or Flop.

Following their announcement, the two even revealed that they had started seeing other people, but were not ready to make things public as yet.

"Anyone who has spent a halfway decent amount of time with them could have seen this coming. In a lot of ways they just seemed wildly incompatible. She has champagne tastes and he's a beer-from-a-can kind of guy," People magazine quoted a source as saying.

However, problems between the two seem to have escalated after reports of a incident involving a gun at the reality star couple's home surfaced in May. "We had an unfortunate misunderstanding about six months ago and the police were called to our house in an abundance of caution. There was no violence and no charges were filed," they had told the magazine in a statement.

While their personal life might be hanging by the thread, the HGTV stars – who are in the sixth season of the design series – are committed to working together professionally.