Mel Gibson and wife Robyn have reached an agreement to divide their assets after 28 years of marriage. Robyn’s lawyer announced the resolution before Judge Mark Juhas in a California court on June 28.
Robyn filed the divorce papers in April 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. The settlement involves the splitting of assets belonging to the former couple estimated to be worth over US$800 million, including a number of properties.
The former couple had seven children together. The eldest, Hannah, was born in 1980 and is currently married to Kenny Wayne Shepherd, a blues guitarist and songwriter. The youngest child, Thomas, was born in 1990 and is cared for by both parents under a joint custody agreement.
Gibson has also fathered a daughter with former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, who is currently pursuing seperate legal action to gain full custody of the child.
Under Californian law, the assets belonging to the former couple will be split evenly, as no prenuptial agreement is thought to be in place.
Australian divorce law requires that a couple prove they are separated for no less than 12 months and one day prior to a divorce application being filed. This separation can occur while both parties are living in the same home.
The couple also need to prove that no “reasonable likelihood” exists of the couple resuming married life to a federal magistrates court. From there, a divorce certificate is issued one month and one day after a divorce order is granted.
In terms of the division of assets, Australian law allows a divorcing couple to reach their own agreement.
This agreement can be made legally binding without going to court if both parties can come to a fair arrangement under the guidance of their respective family lawyers. If an equitable arrangement cannot be made, the couple may apply for a financial order from the family court.
In all these cases it is important that all parties have sound advice on their legal entitlements. Your family lawyer can offer useful guidance and help you understand the requirements of the proceedings surrounding the division of assets.
If you find yourself in position where you may be faced with separation or divorce, receiving sound family law advice is a must to protect your interests. You should contact a family lawyer who can provide you with a solid understanding of the processes involved and the legal options available to you.