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When married couples start thinking about divorce, all eyes turn to the settlement. Dividing up shared assets is usually straightforward, but when individual assets come into play, things can get more complicated.

Below are some of our history’s largest divorce settlements, with figures ranging in the billions of dollars. While most of us aren’t looking to settle on such lofty figures, we all have assets that we wish to protect.

Follow the advice from KMJ Solicitors, the London divorce lawyers, to avoid an unnecessarily expensive divorce.

 

An infographic from our London divorce lawyer showing the most expensive divorces in history
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History’s Biggest Divorce Settlements

In the upper echelons of wealth sit a number of incredibly costly divorce settlements. When things turn sour in the marriages of the rich and famous, money and assets change hands at an eye-watering level.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has been involved in two expensive divorces. While sources are unclear about the exact amounts that change hands with his first wife, estimates put the figure at around $1.7 billion. Similarly, reports are unclear about the situation with his second wife, but it may be as high as $1.8 billion.

The second biggest settlement to date occurred in the divorce of Alec Wildenstein and his wife Jocelyn. Alec, the heir to an art dealing fortune, handed over $3.8 billion to his former spouse.

On top of the list is the $4.5 billion sum from the divorce between Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev. To put it into perspective, that figure is greater than the gross domestic product (GDP) of 40 of the world’s poorest nations.

How to Avoid an Expensive Divorce

While the settlement of a divorce is affected by a number of factors, there are ways of keeping other costs down.

First of all, it’s imperative that you tell the truth about your finances. Lying will only protract negotiations, leading to increased legal fees and bad-tempered negotiations. Likewise, keeping your financial documents organised will ensure everything runs smoothly and quickly.

Another piece of invaluable advice is to hire a London divorce lawyer. Negotiating complicated terms by yourself can result in costly mistakes. Additionally, hiring a divorce lawyer in London means that you don’t have to shoulder the burden of negotiation, which can damage already fractured relationships. Getting divorced without a lawyer poses a risk to your financial and emotional wellbeing, so we always advise that you work with a professional.

Advice from a London Divorce Lawyer: Recovering from a Divorce

Once your divorce has been finalised and the settlement has changed hands, it’s time to think about rebuilding your personal credit score. Being married means that your spouse’s financial affairs affect your own, so shared debts could have an impact on your financial health. Opening bank accounts and credit cards in your own name are just two things that could have a big impact on your finances.

You should also adjust your will to reflect your new circumstances. This is especially important if you start a new family. If the worst should happen, it’s essential that you have provisions in place for your loved ones.

If you do decide to get married again, consider a prenuptial agreement. This is a written, formal agreement that dictates where assets will go should the marriage end in divorce. We recommend using professional assistance to draw up prenuptial agreements, as DIY arrangements could cost you more in the long run.

KMJ Solicitors are a Legal 500 family law firm that can help you protect your assets. To prevent an unnecessarily difficult and expensive divorce, get in touch. We pride ourselves on being the best divorce lawyers in London and will use our expertise to get you a fair divorce settlement.