Divorce doesn’t always end well for both people involved. In fact, it’s not uncommon for one person to get a large settlement. There have been some divorce settlements that resulted in a major payout for one partner. Here’s a look at some of the biggest divorce settlements in history.
1. The Gibson Divorce
Mel Gibson has had a very successful acting career. Throughout that career, his wife Robyn was by his side. The couple spent 28 years together and had a total of seven children. However, that wasn’t enough to make the marriage last. In one of the biggest divorce settlements, Robyn Gibson filed for divorce. In the process, she took $425 million of his $850 million fortune.
Not long after his divorce, Gibson had a baby with his new girlfriend. And since his divorce, his acting career has been less than successful. People now know of him more for his drinking and ranting.
2. The McCaw Divorce
Craig McCaw is best known for selling his cellular company to AT&T. In the sale, he managed to make about $12 billion. It’s obvious that his business skills are stellar. But his skills in staying married aren’t quite as strong. Although McCaw married his college sweetheart, the marriage didn’t last. In 1998, the couple divorce and Wendy McCaw left with $460 million. Her settlement was enough for her to earn a spot on Forbes’ 400 Richest Americans list. She also had enough money to purchase the Santa Barbara News-Press from the New York Times. That qualifies this divorce as one of the largest divorce settlements of all time.
3. The Schwarzenegger Divorce
At one point, people considered Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver the perfect couple. However, that didn’t last. When Maria Shriver learned that her husband was the father of a staff member’s baby, she went after him. And she went after him for all he was worth. According to California law, Schwarzenegger needed to give his wife more than half of his net worth. Although rumor has it that he was willing to give more money in an act of apology, half was enough. Shriver ended up with a payout that was between $250 and $375 million. With that kind of money in her bank account, Shriver earns a spot as one of the biggest divorce settlements of all time.
4. The Wynn Divorce
If you think that a $400 million divorce settlement is a big deal, think again. Stephen and Elaine Wynn ended their marriage with a $741 million settlement. The couple first tied the knot in 1963. Soon after, Stephen started his dream of becoming the famous businessman that he is today. His hotels have made Las Vegas what it is today.
Although his hotels lasted, his marriage didn’t. After over 20 years of marriage, the couple divorced. But even that didn’t last. Only five years later, they remarried. In 2009, they divorced once again. This time, it was final. Elaine walked away with a $741 million settlement. However, Stephen has a net worth of about $2.5 billion. The settlement didn’t affect him much, but it certainly gave his wife a nice nest egg.
5. The Abramovich Divorce
If you haven’t heard of Roman and Irina Abramovich, it’ s time that you did. Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich made his billions in the oil industry. By his side for 16 years was his wife, Irina. When she started to have success in her own business ventures, the marriage began to fail. The couple sought a divorce, and things ended well for Irina. With a $300 million payout, she has one of the biggest divorce settlements.
Despite the large number of zeroes in her settlement, Irina only got a small portion of her ex-husband’s wealth. She got about 1.6% of his net worth. Yet, she’s still living like royalty with her settlement.
Getting the Biggest Divorce Settlements
You might look at the net worth of the individuals on this list and think that getting a big settlement is as simple as marrying a millionaire. However, getting a big settlement takes a lot of work. You need an experienced lawyer to help you get a great settlement. Likewise, you need a great lawyer to make sure your spouse doesn’t take all of your net worth. Without good legal representation, you can end up with a raw deal.
Many factors came into play in these divorce settlements. For example, some of the spouses lived in states where your partner is entitled to half of your net worth. Similarly, some of these divorce cases featured cheating spouses. During the divorce, a judge looks at all the specifics of your case. After analyzing them, he decides how much of a settlement you deserve.
If you want a big settlement or want to protect your assets, you need a strong case. That means you need to work with a lawyer who can get the job done. You need an experienced lawyer.