World’s Top 10 Most Expensive Divorces In The History

Aditi Kandhari

Updated · Oct 01, 2023

World’s Top 10 Most Expensive Divorces In The History

Most Expensive Divorces: Dissolution is a legal procedure that legally dissolves the partnership between two individuals. It involves all social, monetary, and other obligations associated with being wedded. According to the level of agreement between parties, dissolution can begin through one or both stakeholders and be uncontested or disputed. The reasons for separation can range widely, from fundamental disagreements to adultery, mistreatment, or economic consequences.

Separation can be a psychologically draining experience for couples and their offspring, often involving legal processes such as land division, custody battles, and alimony payments. This article will provide detailed insights into divorce proceedings and showcase the world’s top 10 most expensive divorces.

History Of Divorce

Separation is a subject that dates back to previous eras like the Greeks and Romans. Dissolution was typically accepted in these organizations, but only by men. Equality was circumscribed, and women were not eligible for separation. Belligerence, fulmination, or maternal age were usually brought forward as the causes of separation.

The Catholic Church had a considerable impact on legislation even during the Eighteenth Century. Unless in instances of cheating and perhaps other serious breaches, separation was prohibited because the wedding was treated as a spiritual. Through the Reformation as well as the early medieval era, the Catholics persisted in regulating the laws regarding weddings and splits.

Changes in constitutional provisions were ushered about by the Protestant Reformation of the Middle Ages, which challenged the Catholic Church’s authority. The Act of Succession of 1534 moved authority over marriage and separation from the Vatican to the government in Britain. Instances of cheating or negligence qualified for dissolution, but still, only men seemed to have the lawful power to supplicate against this conclusion.

Divorce settlements grew increasingly lenient across several cultures during the nineteenth century, in particular in the United States. The Matrimonial Causes Act, having allowed women to demand separation for the identical criteria as men, was legalized in Britain in 1857. The very first separation statute in the United States was established in Indianapolis in 1851, and before the end of the nineteenth century, each nation seemed to have some sort of law governing dissolution.

With the rise of no-fault divorce courts throughout the twentieth century, marital legislation was further modernized. Now it is possible for couples to legally separate without either party having to prove guilt or misconduct. California was among the first states to implement no-fault divorce laws in 1969; by the 1980s, most nations had followed suit.

Separation is becoming more and more accepted professionally around the world, though its court system can be complex and emotionally draining for all involved. Divorce settlements vary considerably between nations and even within one nation due to differences in government systems. Dissolution-related matters such as asset division, parental rights, and assistance continue to be topics of conversation today.

Types Of Divorce

  • Uncontested divorce: This kind of separation is the quickest but also most prevalent. It takes place when the sides consent over all elements of separation, such as parental rights, support, and economic distribution.
  • Contested divorce: Whenever the couple cannot agree on one or even more issues, a dissolution of this sort takes place. This could entail complicated legal questions that need to be handled through conciliation or lawsuits.
  • No-fault divorce: In this sort of separation, neither spouse must demonstrate which party is at responsibility in their request for separation. Whenever a person files a no-fault separation, individuals just declare that their relationship is irreparably shattered or they’ve parted ways.
  • Fault-based divorce: To get a such form of dissolution, either side should demonstrate which party is responsible for such marriage’s dissolution. Infidelity, brutality, as well as rejection are the main triggers for fault-based separation.
  • Default divorce: The court may award a conventional separation although one spouse somehow doesn’t reply to a complaint filed. The complainant’s claims for division of assets, parental rights, and alimony are typically granted in such a default dissolution.

Reason For Divorces

  • Adultery
  • Financial issues
  • Domestic violence
  • Cultural Differences
  • Incompatibility
  • Communication issues
  • Addiction (alcohol or drugs)

Impact of Divorce

  • People may feel a variety of feelings upon getting separated, especially sorrow, indignation, regret, worry, and even melancholy.
  • Dissolution can indeed be pricey, as well as the division of wealth and formation of independent dwellings can cause strain on both couples’ resources.
  • Separation could be confusing when youngsters are involved, and couples can be forced to resolve issues including paternity agreements, co-parenting, including helping their kids manage the divorce’s psychological responses.
  • Separation may be socially stigmatized in certain communities, which could add an extra layer of pressure and embarrassment for those going through it.
  • Divorced couples may find it harder to form romantic friendships or require assistance with trusting one another.
  • Separation has now been linked to an increased risk for several medical conditions, such as despair, anxiety, and drug dependency.

Why Divorces Are Expensive?

  • The cost of appointing an attorney ranks as one of the highest costs in custody battles. The complexity of the matter, defense attorneys’ expertise, and how long they spend working on each particular case may all have an impact on litigation costs.
  • Allocating the economic possessions of noncustodial parents may prove challenging. Assessing properties and ensuring equitable property valuation, could require engaging investment bankers such as lawyers or evaluators.
  • Family court agreements and child maintenance requirements can dramatically raise the expense of a breakup when kids are included. To assist them in choosing the best human protective order; couples might need to consult experts such as therapists.
  • Registering through separation and visiting trials can involve an array of costs. These expenses may consist of registration costs; running costs; and participating costs for conciliation or even other court-mandated procedures.
  • Dissolution can go on for a prolonged period, primarily if the matter is convoluted or when there is disagreement concerning property; parental rights, or assistance. In regards to attorney expenses as well as other charges; the separation process may grow more costly as it continues along.

The World’s Top 10 Most Expensive Divorces In History

  • Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos – Worth $38 Billion. 
  • Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein – Worth $3.8 Billion. 
  • Rupert Murdoch and Anna Torv – Worth $1.7 Billion. 
  • Bernie Ecclestone and Slavia Radic – Worth $1.2 Billion. 
  • Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi – Worth $874 Million. 
  • Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev – Worth $604 Million.
  • Craig and Wendy McCaw – Worth $460 Million.
  • Mel and Robyn Gibson – Worth $425 Million.
  • Robert and Sheila Johnson – Worth $400 Million.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver – Worth $250 Million.

#1. Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos (Worth $38 Billion)

Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos - Most Expensive Divorces in History

Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos’ final settlement in 2019 remains the costliest ever recorded. Scott and Bezos became close friends while working together at DE Shaw hedge fund, and then Scott helped launch Amazon with him – remaining by his side throughout its rapid expansion.

Nonetheless, Mackenzie–who subsequently remarried–was awarded a 4% interest in Amazon with a market value exceeding $38 billion as part of her divorce settlement. This success propelled Scott to the top of the financial charts with her $61.2 billion net worth making her the 4th woman ever recorded! With success comes obligation; yet she made sure no less than half her fortune was given away.

#2. Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein (Worth $3.8 Billion)

Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein- worth $3.8 Billion - second Most expensive divorce

Alec Wildenstein and Jocelyn Perisset’s separation is considered to have been one of the costliest divorces ever. He was a multibillionaire French entrepreneur, gallery owner, and racehorse producer/operator who wed Jocelyne Perisset on April 30, 1978; they initially had a daughter called Diane before having their son Alec Jr. In 1997-1999 during divorce proceedings between them, news broke of Jocelyn Wildenstein’s love for cosmetic procedures as well as lavish spending patterns which led to coverage by the press at that time.

The settlement amount reached $3.8 billion with Jocelyn earning $100 million annually according to press accounts from this period.

#3. Rupert Murdoch and Anna Torv (Worth $1.7 Billion)

Rupert Murdoch and Anna Torv- worth $1.7 Billion - 3rd most expensive divorces

Rupert Murdoch, a business magnate, married Anna Maria CIA officer in 1968. However, after over 31 years of intimate encounters, they ultimately divorced in 1999 after sharing 21 occasions of intimacy.

At that time they started sharing children together but shortly after separation, Rupert announced a huge settlement worth $1.7 billion for Anna. Each one moved forward quickly: Anna married William Mann almost six months after their breakup while Murdoch tied the knot with Wendi Deng 17 days after it ended.

#4. Bernie Ecclestone and Slavia Radic (Worth $1.2 Billion)

Bernie Ecclestone and Slavia Radic - Most Expensive Divorces

25 years ago, Bernie Ecclestone – Chairman of Formula One and one of the most renowned individuals in the UK – and Slavica Ecclestone divorced due to Bernie’s illogical gesture which served as her excuse for divorce.

This settlement ended up costing Slavica an incredible $1.2 billion – one of the costliest separations ever! To protect herself from such a huge expense, Slavica cleverly increased the price tag to an eye-watering $1.6 billion!

#5. Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi (Worth $874 Million)

Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi- worth $874 Million - 5 th Most Expensive Divorces

One needs to have some wealth for the moniker “The Great Gatsby of the Middle East.” Adnan Khashoggi, an entrepreneur, unfortunately, had to give away a significant portion of it during his separation in 1980.

Adnan and Soraya divorced following 20 years of being married, paying an estimated USD million, or over USD billion when converted to today’s dollars after appreciation.

#6. Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev (Worth $604 Million)

Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev- worth $604 Million - World’s Top 10 Most Expensive Divorces In The History

Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev’s separation, one of the most crucial failed marriages in recorded history, may go against legal guidelines.

When Dmitry separated from Elena in 2014, Elena claimed periodic disloyalty as her reason for leaving him; yet when Dmitry filed his lawsuit for restitution she was only awarded $604 million dollars – even though this separation or divorce has already cost him over $4.5 billion since its start ten years prior.

#7. Craig and Wendy McCaw (Worth $460 Million)

Craig and Wendy McCaw- worth $460 Million - World’s Top 10 Most Expensive Divorces In The History

After 21 years of marriage, the owner of McCaw Cellular divorced Wendy, his business associate spouse, and left behind an astounding US$460 million in wealth.

This included a large Hunts Point estate, private aircraft, and European holidays on board the familial sailboat Calixe – though little is known about what caused their dissolution

#8. Mel and Robyn Gibson (Worth $425 Million)

Mel and Robyn Gibson- worth $425 Million

On the day after his arrest in Malibu for suspected alcohol consumption, which included an expletive-filled anti-Semitic outburst, Gibson informed CNN that they had parted ways.

In April 2009, Moore filed for divorce due to irreconcilable differences. That same month he had seen Oksana Grigorieva briefly and had planned to have a child with her within one month; this decision was ultimately the deciding factor in their relationship.

Cosmopolitan reported that Moore and Gibson’s agreement stipulated that she would receive half of any wealth generated through their wedding since 1980. Reports indicate she has amassed an impressive $425 million. With seven children together and having been wedded for nearly 30 years, Moore can certainly claim her share!

#9. Robert and Sheila Johnson (Worth $400 Million)

Robert and Sheila Johnson- worth $400 Million

One of the strongest relationships on this list is Bob and Sheila Johnson’s 33-year union. After they wed in 1969, founded Black Entertainment Television (BET), and became among the first African Americans to achieve wealth, they divorced in 2002; Sheila received $400 million as part of their settlement.

#10. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver (Worth $250 Million)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver- worth $250 Million

2011 saw the end of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s 25-year union.

Mr. Olympia’s past romance with their servant was revealed, prompting Maria to request a divorce.

Shriver left the room with $250 million and physical custody of their kids despite failing to execute a written agreement that had been agreed upon prior.

Bottom Line

Divorce can be an emotionally charged and lengthy process with significant repercussions for individuals and communities alike. Divorce rates across various nations have varied considerably, though some have decreased significantly in recent years. For many individuals, separation can feel like a substantial financial strain. Some of the primary factors contributing to an increased cost of separation are lawyer fees, property split, parental rights and support, litigation costs, and labor.

Each civil lawsuit has its own unique components that may influence costs significantly; such as complexity or unusual characteristics. Though some divorces may be relatively straightforward and cost-effective, others can become significantly more intricate. Families considering separation should consider the cumulative effect of proceedings before making a final decision.

Instead, couples should consult experienced specialists who can guide them through this process economically and equitably. Couples can reduce the financial strain of separation by being responsible and seeking psychological support; doing so will result in a beneficial outcome for themselves as well as any dependents.


What's the leading cause of marriage separation?

According to a recent nationwide poll, lack of commitment between partners is the top reason for divorce among married couples.

How could I reduce the expense of a legal separation?

Establishing communication channels between both parties is by far the best strategy when trying to escape an expensive split. By employing the Constructive Process of leaving or participating in negotiation, you may be able to address concerns without spending money on legal battles.

What rights does a wife have during a separation?

After filing for divorce, she has the right to demand support but she cannot ask for property as part of the settlement agreement.

What common problems arise after separation?

Many people experience the emotions of anger, bitterness, bewilderment, fear, embarrassment and anxiousness after being separated - all of which can have a devastating impact on their psychological state and overall well-being.

Aditi Kandhari
Aditi Kandhari

Aditi is an Industry Analyst at Enterprise Apps Today and specializes in statistical analysis, survey research and content writing services. She currently writes articles related to the "most expensive" category.

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