Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife Maria Shriver, has filed divorce papers to end their 25-years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. It's speculated that she could receive in excess of $250 million under the state law. Shriver is asking for spousal support and wants the judge to deny Arnold the right to ask for support for himself, though it's highly unlikely he would.
Shriver is asking for joint custody of their minor children, who she names in the document as 17-year-old "Patrick Arnold Shriver Schwarzenegger" and 13-year-old "Christopher Sargent Shriver Schwarzenegger." Together Shriver and Schwarzenegger have four children. Their two daughters are adults.
In the petition, filed by Shriver's attorney Laura Wasser, she is asking Arnold to pay the attorneys' fees of both parties. Schwarzenegger's attorney is Bob Kaufman and divorce proceedings will be conducted by a private judge. Both attorneys have a history of handling high profile clients in a way that allows their privacy to remain intact. Once a settlement has been reached one of the attorneys will report to a court and tell the judge the agreement.
Wasser and Kaufman are said to work extremely well together, and have already made great headway in the settlement discussions. Arnold must formally file a response to Maria's divorce petition within the next two months according to California law.
There are even rumours that Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to give his soon to be ex-wife a "very generous divorce settlement." In fact, the settlement is said to include much more than what is required under California law.
Under California law, the assets accumulated during a marriage are to be split 50/50 in the case of divorce. However, according to sources, Schwarzenegger plans to give Shriver much more than that. The 'Governator' is said to be worth roughly $500-750 million. Arnold is said to be offering up such a generous settlement with Shriver being that he realizes how much he has put her through. He is aware that Shriver has been a devoted wife and mother, and realizes that no amount of money can make up for the public embarrassment and betrayal.
The wealth of Shriver, who's an award winning television newscaster, is estimated at more than $1 million. She is also a member of America's most famous political clan the Kennedys. Shriver and Schwarzenegger, married in 1986 and became one of the top U.S. power couples as it symbolized a rare union between politics and Hollywood. The couple weathered storms over the years and Maria became the pillar of her husband's strength at every twist and turn and was instrumental in Schwarzenegger's victory in election for the position of governor of California. Shriver even stood by her husband's side as he ran for California's governorship in 2003, even after there were reported accusations by several women that they had been groped by him. Schwarzenegger was elected twice to governorship.
However, the last few months their marriage showed signs of strain and after Arnold's tenure as governor ended, he confessed to having fathered a child out of wedlock. Arnold said in May he had an affair with Mildred Baena, a longtime housekeeper for the family. The love child is now 13.