Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Madonna granted divorce in London

Madonna and Guy Ritchie
Neither Madonna nor Guy Ritchie were in court

Pop star Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie have been granted a divorce at the High Court in London.

The decree nisi was granted just a month after the couple, who have three children, declared their eight-year marriage was over.

A sworn statement released by the court showed the pop star petitioned for divorce on the grounds of Ritchie's unreasonable behaviour.

Neither Madonna, 50, nor her film-maker husband, 40, were in court on Friday.

In her sworn statement, Madonna said Ritchie's behaviour was continuing.

Madonna also said in the statement that the couple had not been living at the same address for the six months before the date of the petition. The document was signed in Beverly Hills.


Madonna and Guy Ritchie through the years

Custody 'shared'

The couple wed at Skibo Castle in Scotland in December 2000, and announced their separation last month after months of speculation.

The case was listed before District Judge Reid alongside 16 others "for pronouncement of decree or order under the special procedure rule".

It has been reported that the couple did not demand a financial settlement from each other. Madonna is thought to be worth some 300m, while Ritchie is believed to have 30m in assets.

The couple are also reported to have agreed to share custody of their two boys, Rocco, eight, and three-year-old adopted David Banda, while Madonna's daughter from an earlier relationship, 12-year-old Lourdes, will stay with her.

Another statement released by the court showed Senior District Judge Philip Waller, who granted the divorce, was satisfied the court did not need to exercise powers under the Children Act.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie, with their son Rocco, in 2000
Ritchie and Madonna will reportedly share custody

This suggests the couple had come to an agreement over custody before the divorce.

Madonna is currently in the US playing dates on her Sticky & Sweet tour.

Friday's hearing lasted six minutes, with the judge granting decrees to a total of 17 couples.

If there are no disputes, a decree nisi can become a decree absolute within weeks, legally ending the marriage.

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