Music veteran Madonna and her filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie have been granted a divorce at the high court in London.

The couple announced last month that they were to divorce after seven years of marriage.

And they have today been granted a decree nisi having reached a financial settlement and an agreement over the shared custody of their children.

The divorce will be made final in six weeks and a day.

It is believed Madonna, 50, will retain the bulk of her estimated £300 million fortune, despite Ritchie, 40, being entitled to a share.

"[Madonna] walked away without any of his money, much to her credit," a source was quoted by the Times newspaper as saying. "He has done the same.

"He could have hugely boosted his bank balance and set himself up for life, but he already feels he has enough money," another source said.

"He also didn't want the whole thing dragging on in the public gaze for months and months and, in any case, his priority was the children's future."

The newspaper reports the couple have agreed a transcontinental custody agreement for their children.

They are parents to Rocco, eight, and David Banda, three, who was adopted from Malawi in 2006, while Madonna also has a 12-year-old daughter, Lourdes, from a relationship with personal trainer Carlos Leon.

It is thought Rocco and David will split their time between the US and UK while Lourdes will continue to live with her mother.

Media speculation of the couple's impending separation had increased in recent months, with rumours of an affair between the Material Girl and New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez.

Madonna and Ritchie are expected to undergo private divorce proceedings, as opposed to the high-profile split of another celebrity couple, Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.


21/11/2008 09:30:18