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Britain’s Most Expensive Divorce Tops $500 Million

Any divorce can be costly in terms of both time and money, particularly if you don’t have an experienced lawyer on your side, but what happens when you’re a billionaire?

One such billionaire, hedge fund manager Chris Hohn, saw this week just how costly divorce can be in some instances.

His former wife, Jamie Cooper-Hohn was awarded with 337 million pounds—the equivalent of $530 million—in the largest divorce settlement in British history. According to reports, the couple who heads up the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, has a fortune that tops more than $1.3 billion.

Cooper-Hohn was born in America, and during the proceedings she was reportedly seeking half of the amassed assets. Hohn instead countered her with an offer of one-quarter of the assets, citing the fact he felt he had made a “special” contribution to the couple’s acquired wealth.

The two were married for 17 years and have four children together.

As a result of the divorce of the two there have been some issues with their charity, one of the largest private organizations of its kind. Hohn has accused his ex-wife of criminal and financial wrongdoing in how she’s handled the money of the charity, which she has consistently denied.

While this divorce was the most expensive in British legal history, there are some other recent settlements that make this one pale in comparison. One example was the nearly $1 billion settlement handed down in the divorce of Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Hamm in Oklahoma. Harold Hamm is known as the CEO of Continental Resources, and upon divorcing his wife of 26 years he was required to pay the record sum, although compared to his net worth it was considered relatively small.

Hamm is reported to be worth around $14 billion and his former wife got about 7 percent of that fortune, whereas it can be typical for a spouse of that many years to be award anywhere from 25 to 30 percent of the accumulated marital assets. It was just announced Sue Ann will be appealing the initial settlement ruling, which Hamm’s attorneys have said they find to be equitable while Su Ann’s have said it’s unfair based on the couple’s total wealth.

Another recent divorce grabbing attention earlier this year was between Dmitry Rybolovlev and Elena Rybolovleva where there was a staggering $4.5 billion settlement awarded to Elena by a Swiss court. Initially Elena was reported seeking $6 billion of a fortune valued at about $12.8 billion.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch also has a few notable divorces that rank pretty highly in terms of being incredibly expensive, although the reported amounts vary quite a bit.

These divorces are certainly an unusual example of a settlement since these are some of the richest couples in the world, but they’re definitely interesting to take a look at in terms of how courts view the divorce process and spouses’ individual entitlement to the assets they share.

If you’re considering a divorce the best thing to do is contact an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney who can help walk you through the process and answer questions you may have—even if you’re not a multi-billionaire.

 

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