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Have you ever wondered how much a divorce costs? Well, all marriages are different and so too are all separations, so there is no set amount and the cost of each divorce will depend on legal fees and spousal support. For some, divorcing and going on alone is quick and easy, but for others, dividing up assets and reaching a settlement can be tricky, especially when there is a lot of money involved. It’s often up to the courts to decide how much an ex-spouse is owed. 

From millions to billions, here we take a look at some of the most expensive celebrity divorces of all time:

The Most Expensive Celebrity Divorces


Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev $4.5billion (£3.22billion)


In 2014, Russian businessman and entrepreneur Dmitry Rybolovlev was ordered by a Geneva court to award his ex-wife Elena a whopping $4.5billion (£3.22billion) after nearly 7 years battling in the divorce courts. The pair had been married for 24 years prior to the proceedings and share two daughters, however many were still shocked at this record-breaking figure. 
Fast forward a year, and Rybolovlev won a successful appeal to lower this figure and the pair had come to an amicable settlement after many months of toing and froing. The previous ruling was reversed and Elena was awarded just 564million Swiss Francs (£403million). 


Alex and Jocelyn Wildenstein $2.5billion (£1.79billion)


Most people will know this ex-wife, not due to her expensive divorce or her socialite antics, but because of her dramatic plastic surgery tale. You may know her as the ‘Bride of Wildenstein’ or ‘Catwoman’. 
But we digress; when French businessman, art dealer and racehorse owner, Alex Wildenstein, was divorced by his wife of 21 years in 1999, due to his infidelity, their settlement hit the headlines. Now the second most expensive divorce of all time, Jocelyn Wildenstein was awarded $2.5billion (£1.79billion).  


Rupert and Anna Murdoch $1.7billion (£1.21billion)


Media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, has been married four times, only marrying former model Jerry Hall in the last few weeks. However, his divorce from second wife, Anna, cost him dearly. 
Rupert and Anna married in 1967 and have three children together. When they divorced in 1999, after 32 years of marriage and just 17 days before marrying wife number three, a settlement was agreed of $1.7billion (£1.21billion), plus £100million up-front. 

Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone $1.2billion (£860million)



Formula One entrepreneur, Bernie Ecclestone, and his model wife of 23 years, Slavica, divorced in 2008 with the latter claiming unreasonable behaviour. She was rewarded $1.2billion (£860million) in the settlement, however it has been revealed since that Ecclestone has received more than £30million from his ex-wife’s trust fund. 


Harold and Sue Ann Hamm $995.5million (£711.38million)

American oil and gas tycoon, Harold Hamm, married Sue Ann Arnall, an economist and lawyer, in 1988 and they have two daughters together. The pair separated in 2005; however they did not file for divorce until May 2012, after 24 years of marriage. 

Although it had been estimated that Hamm could lose up to half of his $20billion (£14.3billion) fortune to his ex-wife in divorce proceedings, in November 2014 an Oklahoma County judge ruled that he owed his second wife just $995.5million (£711.38million). 


Read more: FAQ Series: Who Moves Out of the Marital Home?

Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi $874million (£624.5million)

One of the most expensive divorce settlements for many years belonged to Saudi businessman, Adnan Khashoggi, and his young English bride Soraya (nee Sandra Daly). The pair married in 1961, when Soraya was just 20, and over the ensuing decades, Adnan made a $4billion (£2.86billion) net worth.

When they divorced more than 20 years later, in 1982, Soraya was awarded $874million (£624.5million) - an amount that made it the most expensive divorce settlement in the world for many years. 


Craig and Wendy McCaw $460million (£328.7million)

Craig McCaw and Wendy Petrak met at Stanford University and married in 1974, a year after graduation; little did they know McCaw would one day become a billionaire. 

During their marriage, the couple grew their communications company into a cellular firm, which eventually sold in 1994 for $11billion (£7.87billion). Fast forward three years and after 23 years of marriage, McCaw filed for divorce from his wife. The settlement ruled he pay his ex-wife an estimated $460million (£328.7million), mostly in Nextel stock. 


Read more: How to Value a Business in a Divorce

Considering Filing for Divorce?

Of course, not all divorces involve settlements with such large assets; and, if amicable, it can be relatively easy to settle with the help of an experienced divorce solicitor. 

If you are considering separating from your partner and would like advice on how to file for divorce, contact our friendly and professional divorce and separation team on or call 0808 178 2773. 

arded $874million (£624.5million) - an amount that made it the most expensive divorce settlement in the world for many years. 

(All amounts calculated according to exchange rates at time of writing: 1 US Dollar = 0.71 British Pound)

(images: Franck Nataf and Warren Mell under CC BY-SA 3.0, Eva Rinaldi under CC BY-SA 2.0, uppure under CC BY 2.0)

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