When it comes to having big money, it also means that should divorce ever be upon you, you are either prepared to open up that prenuptial agreement and have the other side fight for it (if you were smart enough to get one drawn up, that is), or shell out a whole lot of money to your significant other. In this day and age, one has to protect him or herself if they are very wealthy – it’s smart business.
Putting aside that marriage is meant to be for the rest of your life, the men and women here took that either with a grain of salt and got a prenuptial agreement or truly believed the one they were marrying was ‘the one’ for them and didn’t want any legal issues to come between them. So check out the divorce settlements that have gone into the billion dollar mark! We kid you not, these are the most expensive divorces in history.
Michael Jordan & Juanita Vanoy | $168 million
Legendary NBA player Michael Jordan is known for more than just his skills on the basketball court. His divorce from his first wife, Juanita Vanoy, went down in record books due to the settlement amount. Michael and Juanita were married in 1989 and had three children together.
They filed for divorce for the first time in 2002 but withdrew the petition, only to refile in 2006. Juanita, who was with Michael since before he was the mega-athlete he is today, walked away from that marriage with a $168 million settlement.
Rupert Murdoch & Anna Murdoch Mann | $1.7 billion
Rupert Murdoch is one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. The Australian businessman is a media mogul who owned at one time or another News Corporation, and 21st Century Fox.
Rupert married his third wife, Anna, in 1967 and was married to her for over 30 years. The couple divorced in 1999, with Anna walking away with a whopping $1.7 billion fortune! Anna herself is a Scottish journalist and writer. The couple had three children together during their marriage.
Mel Gibson & Robyn Moore Gibson | $425 million
Prior to Mel Gibson’s many strange comments and behavior in recent years, he was a beloved actor and director who was married for over 30 years to Robyn Moore.
The couple share seven children together, one daughter and six sons. It was said that the divorce was due to Mel’s erratic behavior. Either way, Robyn ended that marriage and took with her a settlement of $425 million for her 31 years of marriage.
Neil Diamond & Marcia Murphey | $150 million
The legendary Neil Diamond is one of the most well-known singers this generation has seen. Being a musician, it is no surprise that he has a way with the ladies.
He has been married three times in his life but we are focusing on his second marriage to Marcia Murphey, who was a production assistant at the time. The two were married from 1969 until 1995 and have two sons together. For her years with Neil, Marcia walked away with $150 million.
Frank McCourt & Jamie McCourt | $130 million
Frank McCourt was the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and current chairman and owner of the Los Angeles Marathon and McCourt Global.
Needless to say he is one wealthy man, so when he and his first wife, Jamie, divorced, she was given one incredibly large settlement. Jamie and Frank have four sons together as well. Jamie’s divorce settlement was for a cool $130 million.
Greg Norman & Laura Andrassy | $103 million
Greg Norman is a professional golfer coming out of Australia. He is also an entrepreneur (which is how he is able to double his own ridiculously large income).
The golf hall of famer has been married three times, his marriage to Laura being his second of the three. He was previously married to tennis star Chris Evert. Lucky Laura was granted $103 million in her divorce agreement from Greg. Not a bad payday.
Steven Spielberg & Amy Irving | $100 million
Hollywood favorite director Steven Spielberg was married to actress Amy Irving for the better part of the 80s. The couple met and dated from 1976 through 1979, breaking up and getting back together in 1984, marrying in 1985, having their son, and later divorcing in 1989.
For their four years of marriage, Amy walked away with one of the highest divorce settlements ever heard of. Amy was granted a $100 million settlement.
Kevin Costner & Cindy Silva | $80 million
Heartbreaker Kevin Costner is such a beloved actor in Hollywood. However, before we knew who he even was, Kevin began dating fellow college student Cindy Silva in 1975. The couple married in 1978 and had three children together.
After 16 years of marriage, the couple decided to call it quits. Due to the fact that Cindy was married to Kevin before he had the fame and fortune he gained by acting, she was given a divorce settlement of $80 million, half of Costner’s net worth at the time.
Bernie Eccelstone & Slavica Eccelstone | $1.2 billion
While we think this to be a classic case of gold digger, Bernie Ecclestone wouldn’t hear any of it. The business magnate and former owner and CEO of the Formula One Group, has been married three times.
His second wife, Slavica, was married to Bernie from 1985 to 2009. After 23 years of marriage and two daughters together, Slavica was granted a divorce settlement of $1.2 billion! That should have her resting pretty for the rest of her life.
Harrison Ford & Melissa Mathison | $118 million
Indiana Jones (or Han Solo) himself is no match for a woman’s seduction. Harrison Ford has been married three times, his latest marriage still ongoing (and here’s hoping continues happily ever after).
We are here to discuss wife number two, Melissa Mathison. She was married to Ford from 1983 to 2004. When the couple decided to end their marriage, Melissa was awarded a divorce settlement of $118 million! Has no one heard of a pre nuptial agreement?!
James Cameron & Linda Hamilton | $50 million
James Cameron, the brilliance behind Titanic and Avatar is also one serial husband. James has been married five times, his latest marriage being his longest (fifth time’s the charm?).
His fourth marriage to Linda Hamilton is the one we are interested in since he was married o her for only two years but she managed to walk away with $50 million! The reason for this amount? They divorced right after Titanic came out, which is when James made some of this largest paychecks ever.
Kelsey Grammer & Camille Grammer | $30 million
One of the more unpleasant divorces in Hollywood was between Frasier star Kelsey Grammer and his third wife, Camille. Camille is a former Playboy model. The two met on a blind date back in 1996.
They were married from 1997 to 2011 and have two children together. Camille and Kelsey’s divorced was all over tabloid magazines and the media due to the level of drama that ensued. In the end, Camille was given $30 million in the divorce settlement.
Mick Jagger & Jerry Hall | $25 million
The original Rolling Stone, Mick Jagger, put those hips of his to work when it came to the ladies. He has been married twice and had seven longterm and high profile relationships. We are here, though, for wife number two – Jerry Hall.
Jerry was famous in her own right as she was known for her modeling and acting. Jerry and Mick were married from 1990 until 1999 and have four children together. Jerry was granted $25 million in the divorce. She went on to marry another man on this list, none other than Rupert Murdoch, in 2016.
Steve Wynn & Elaine Wynn | $1 billion
Steve Wynn is a real estate giant. He has been involved in the construction and running of some of the biggest and most lavish resorts in the country, such as The Mirage, Treasure Island, and the Bellagio in Las Vegas, as well as many other hotels in Atlantic City.
This being the case, we are not surprised at all that when his then-wife wanted out of their marriage, she also got out with a $1 billion settlement.
Vladimir Potanin & Natalia Potanin | $7.5 billion
Oligarch Vladimir Potanin is considered the richest man in all of Russia. With a net worth of $14.3 billion, it makes sense. Vladimir earned his billions from his loans-for-shares program in his native Russia.
Vladimir and Natalia were married for over 30 years until their 2014 divorce. She is currently in a legal battle with Vladimir for half of his fortune and it looks like she’s going to win too.
Johnny Carson & Joanna Holland | $20 million
Johnny Carson, the former host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, is an award-winning television personality and a funny guy to boot. He has been married four times throughout his life (he sadly passed away in 2005).
His third marriage to Joanna Holland was the most expensive one for Carson. When the two decided to divorce in 1985, after 13 years of marriage, Joanna was awarded a divorce settlement of $20 million.
Dmitry Rybolovlev & Elena | $604 million
There is something about Russian billionaires that has them divorcing right left and center. Dmitry Rybolovlev is no exception. Dmitry is the owner of AS Monaco FV and Cercle Brugge KSV, both of which are European football teams in case you were wondering.
The marriage between Dmitry and his wife Elena took a sour turn after years of wedded bliss. They took the divorce to court and fought over everything. In the end, Elena was given $604 million.
Tiger Woods & Elin Nordegren | $100 million
We are not going to lie, we are happy this divorce cost Tiger Woods so much money, he deserved to feel the financial strain. Tiger was married to Elin from 2004 to 2010.
He was unfaithful for much of their marriage and was able to cover it up until one woman came forward and he was essentially caught. Elin was granted a $100 million settlement. The couple has two children together.
Arnold Schwarzenegger & Maria Shriver | $300 million
Between Arnold Schwarzenegger’s blockbuster films, his political career and various business ventures, he is one wealthy man. This wealthy man was accompanied by a successful and beautiful woman in his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver.
The duo has four children together (plus that one illegitimate one Arnold produced with the nanny). It was Arnold’s infidelity that lead to the end of their marriage and Maria getting $300 million in their separation agreement.
Adnan Khashoggi & Soraya Khashoggi | $850 million
Adnan Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian businessman and billionaire who was famous for his hand in arms dealings. Prior to his death in 2017, Adnan was married twice. His first marriage to Soraya is the most notable one.
Soraya was actually born Sandra Daly but converted to Islam and changed her name for Adnan when they married in the 1960s. The couple had five children together. When they divorced in 1980, Soraya walked away with an incredible $874 million settlement.
Roman Abramovich & Irina Malandina | $300 million
Roman Abramovich, the Russian investor, politician and investor is worth $9.1 billion today. When he married his second wife Irina, he was already well into the billion dollar mark.
The couple was married from 1991 to 2007 and had five children together. When news came out the Roman was busy with another 25-year-old woman, Irina took it upon herself to begin divorce proceedings. She took home $300 million from the settlement.
Alec Wildenstein & Jocelyn Perisse | $2.5 billion
You may recognize Jocelyn before you realize who her ex-husband is. The world knows Jocelyn for her feline plastic surgery and has nicknamed her Catwoman.
She was able to get her surgeries thanks to her $2.5 billion divorce settlement from her ex-husband, art dealer and entrepreneur, Alec Wildenstein. Jocelyn is known as a socialite and little more, but before she started looking all too bizarre, she was married from 1978 to 1999 and had two children.
Garth Brooks & Sandy Mahl | $125 million
Before Garth Brooks met the love of his life, Trisha Yearwood, he was married to his first wife, Sandy Mahl. The country legend married his college sweetheart in 1986 and had three children with her, all daughters.
Brooks, being one of country music’s biggest names, is also a very wealthy man. Sandy, being with him since before he shot to fame, walked away with $125 million.
Michael Douglas & Diandra Douglas | $45 million
Michael Douglas gave his first wife Diandra $45 million in their divorce settlement. The two were married from 1977 until 1995 with one mutual child and did not have any agreement between them as back in the 70s, Douglas was not the big name he ended up becoming.
We all know how his story continued, by marrying the stunning Catherine Zeta-Jones and having two children with her.
Robert L. Johnson & Sheila Johnson | $400 million
Robert L. Johnson and Sheila Johnson founded BET (Black Entertainment Television) and sold it to Viacom in 2001. Needless to say these two were rolling in the dough when Sheila decided to divorce Robert.
The couple was married from 1969 until 2001 and have two children together. Sheila got $400 million in the settlement and went on to be the CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts. She is the first (before Oprah!) to get the billionaire status as an African American woman.
Ted Danson & Casey Coats | $30 million
Cheers star Ted Danson is still considered to be one good looking man. Throw it back to the 70s and 80s and he was even better! It was during that time that he was married for the second time to Cassandra ‘Casey’ Coates.
The couple was married from 1977 until 1993 at which time they divorced. They have two children together. Coats got herself a nice piece of Ted’s money and walked away with $30 million.
Paul McCartney & Heather Mills | $48.6 million
Paul was kissing Heather all over the media when they first got together, but when these two divorced the world turned dark. Paul was married for a very long time to his first wife Linda, who sadly passed away in 1998.
In 2002 he married Heather and remained married to her until 2008. While he has since remarried and is seemingly living the life, Heather is also smiling as she got $48.6 million in the divorce agreement.
Charles Edgar Fipke & Marlene Fipke | $200 million
So who is Charles Fipke? He is a Canadian geologist who was the lucky man to discover the existence of a diamond mine around Lac de Gras. Thanks to his find, he is a multimillionaire who can go dig up as many rocks as he wants.
Charles gave his ex-wife Marlene $200 million in their divorce. They were married for several years and had five children together. She seems to have gotten what she deserved seeing as he is famously difficult to be around.
Kenny Rogers & Marianne Rogers | $60 million
Kenny Rogers is one of country music’s most famous names and voices. The singer, songwriter, actor, record producer and investor has been married five times and has four children from his respective marriages.
When he married Marianne Gordon he didn’t think it was going to end in divorce as there was no prenuptial agreement between them. The couple, who married in 1977, divorced in 1993. Marianne got $60 million from her divorce agreement.
Madonna & Guy Ritchie | $92 million
Madonna is the biggest pop star diva the music industry has ever known (can you tell we love her?), while Guy Ritchie is an award-winning director. The two were married from 2000 until 2008, and had one biological child together as well as adopted two.
When they announced their divorce, the world was shaken. In the only case like this on this list, it was the woman who had to pay out. Guy Ritchie walked away with a settlement of $92 million!
Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner | Unknown
After 13 years of marriage, actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner jointly filed for divorce in 2017, having already been separated for two years before. The divorce was officially finalized with a settlement reached in October 2018 and until that time, Affleck was struggling with his sobriety and seen out and about with new girlfriends like Lindsay Shookus and Shauna Sexton.
The settlement details haven’t been fully released, but they agreed to split custody and a fair division of assets – Affleck is worth about $130 million and Jennifer, $60 million.