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Mel Gibson divorce settlement gets finalized

A judge has finally approved a multimillion-dollar settlement in actor Mel Gibson's ongoing divorce saga, which has captured the attention of Texas residents for years.

Gibson's ex-wife, who married the actor in 1980, will walk away with half of the money her husband made in motion pictures and investments, according to published reports. Experts estimated Gibson's holdings at between $850 million and $900 million, with his ex-wife due to receive half of that community property when the settlement becomes final on Jan. 9. The couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement.

The couple separated in 2006. Three years later, Robyn Gibson filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The filing came after Mel Gibson announced that he and his girlfriend were expecting a child. That couple subsequently ended their relationship and has been locked in a bitter custody dispute regarding their daughter, during which the girlfriend accused Gibson of domestic violence.

Gibson and his ex-wife, both 55, had one daughter and six sons together. In a sworn statement she made during her husband's custody proceedings with his ex-girlfriend, she said Gibson had never harmed her or their children.

Gibson earned his fortune through a number of motion pictures, including "The Passion of the Christ," which he directed, produced and co-wrote, which brought in more than $600 million alone. He also starred in and directed the Academy Award-winning "Braveheart" and starred in the "Lethal Weapon" and "Mad Max" series of films. His holdings also include a variety of properties, including an island in Fiji and at least two homes.

As evidenced above, prenuptial agreements should always be considered before getting married. It is not a sign of bad faith, but merely an attempt to cover bases and make sure that if a divorce happens, a settlement can be reached quickly.

Source: People, "Mel Gibson's Ex Wife Takes Half His Estimated $850 Million in Divorce Settlement," Ken Lee, Dec. 23, 2011

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