Mel Gibson divorce finalised by LA courts

Date: Dec 30, 2011

Actor and producer Mel Gibson has had his separation from wife Robyn Gibson finalised as a judge formally approved the couples divorce financial settlements on December 23 (local time).

It has been reported that the pair - who were married in 1980 - did not have a prenuptial agreement in place before they were wed.

Under California state law, couples who divorce without possessing these legal documents are required to split their assets evenly across both partners.

While the details of the arrangements made by Gibson and his ex-wife have been kept from public circulation by the courts, it has been reported that the separation has been valued at approximately $425 million - half of the actor's estimated wealth.

Neither of the couple was present at the proceedings when Superior Court Judge Mark Juhas approved the transfer, instead acting through their respective family lawyers.

While the public documents available indicate that the settlement becomes effective on January 9 2012, it has been reported that Gibson's wife has already returned to her previous surname of Moore.

Of the couple's seven children, only their 12-year-old son is young enough to be the subject of a child custody agreement - with the remaining six being over the age of 18 years.

Such an arrangement was not covered by these court proceedings - however it has been reported that the boy is currently living with his mother.

Gibson has an eighth child - a two-year-old daughter- with Russian-born pianist and teacher Oksana Grigorieva.

The pair was reportedly involved in a relationship for some time before 2010, when they parted ways.

Official documents submitted to the courts by Gibson show that he and his former wife had originally separated in 2006, citing irreconcilable differences as the grounds for their divorce.

In Australia the policy of a no-fault separation means that the reasons for a legal division to take place are different from those in the US.

The only grounds for a divorce to be accepted by local courts is "the irreparable breakdown of a relationship" as evidenced by the couple living separately for a period of no less than 12 consecutive months.

In addition, the laws that govern the division of assets - such as cash, property and investments - in the event of a separation are also different.

As an example, a couple who are able to reach an agreement on how their combined wealth should be divided are able to have their decision acted upon without requiring external arbitration.