Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens and his fourth wife have announced they will divorce.
Pickens, 84, married 65-year-old widow Madeleine Paulson seven years ago. It is unknown whether they had signed a prenuptial agreement. A spokesman for Pickens said the couple intends to part on good terms.
As a philanthropist, Pickens amassed his $1.2 billion fortune by drilling for oil as well as taking over companies. Despite being an oil tycoon, Pickens has become known more recently for leading the call for alternative energy. His wife has holdings on the West Coast and is known as an advocate for animal rights. She runs a charity to protect horses that includes an impressive board of directors, including Pickens.
Madeleine Pickens likely will want to keep the divorce out of the courtroom as much as possible, having already endured one highly publicized and bitter battle in court. Her second husband, a multimillionaire, passed away in 2000. Three years later, she sued her late husband's youngest son, contending he had not honored his father's wishes.
For example, she said he did not maintain her medical insurance as he was supposed to, and she also claimed he had her membership to a country club revoked. For his part, the son said she hid art and home furnishings from his father and put a deposit on an expensive luxury car as his father was dying.
The sides settled in 2004, and three years later, she married Pickens. It is believed he will remain in the Dallas area, where his business is based, while Madeleine Pickens will live on the West Coast.
Given that both sides brought assets into the marriage and both had been married before, it would have been wise for the parties to have signed a prenuptial agreement. Doing so would leave all financial issues settled and pave the way for a smoother divorce.