T. Boone Pickens, the 84-year-old Texas oil tycoon, and his wife of seven years have filed for divorce. While they both profess that the split is mutual, questions are yet unanswered as to what exactly will happen with Pickens' $1.2 billion fortune, including two mansions and a private jet. The couple lived in the exclusive Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow, alongside such Texas notables as former president George W. Bush and many of the Dallas Cowboys. However, recently, Pickens has been handling business affairs in Texas while his wife oversees various charity projects in Nevada and California.
One of the reasons why divorce can be so complicated is trying to figure out who gets what. This is often not as simple as one might think because, for example, not all of the property used and enjoyed by the couple, including the home they lived in, can always be considered marital property. Determining how the Pickenses' estate might be split up to account for the divorce will depend on a variety of factors, including how the state of Texas defines community property and whether or not the couple entered into any kind of agreement prior to or during the marriage.
The many considerations that go into deciding how to allocate property in a divorce can often lead to disputes between the husband and wife. Attorneys might be needed on both sides to resolve the issues, especially when the property being disputed is valuable, unique, or difficult to accurately calculate.
Source: The Daily Mail, "Back on the market ... again! Texas oil billionaire, 84, files for divorce from his fourth wife (but how much of his $1.2 billion fortune will she get?)," Oct. 3, 2012