Robyn Gibson filed the petition, which offers no details of the breakup, in Los Angeles Superior Court. The couple have seven children, but only one under 18. Robyn Gibson has requested joint custody of their son who turns 10 on Tuesday.
Details of how the couple's assets will be divided were not spelled out in the court filings. Robyn Gibson is seeking jewelry and earnings and assets she accrued after the couple separated, and a share of the money and assets Gibson, 53, has earned during his nearly three decades as a Hollywood hitmaker.
She wants the actor-director to pay spousal support and her attorney's fees. The Gibsons released a joint statement Monday, seeking privacy.
"Throughout our marriage and separation we have always strived to maintain the privacy and integrity of our family and will continue to do so," the statement read.
The couple were married in June 1980, court records show.
"Mad Max" in 1979 brought Gibson his first international attention, closely followed by the critically acclaimed "Gallipoli" and the Mad Max sequel "The Road Warrior."
Gibson has since gone on to make a mix of crowd-pleasing shoot-'em-ups such as the "Lethal Weapon" franchise, and has established himself as a director. 1995's "Braveheart" earned Gibson two Oscars for best picture and best director.
He also produced and directed the surprise blockbusters "The Passion of the Christ" and "Apocalypto," which broke box-office records for foreign language films in its opening weekend in several countries.
His divorce was first reported by celebrity gossip site TMZ, which made a splash for its reporting of the actor's anti-Semitic slurs uttered during a drunken driving arrest in 2006.
Gibson pleaded no contest to the charge later that year and was given three years' probation. Since then, he has hosted Britney Spears at his home in Costa Rica, and continued his acting career. He stars in "Edge of Darkness," scheduled for release later this year.