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Hollywood celebrities aren’t top on the highest-asset divorce list

Our blog has covered a number of high-asset divorces and while celebrities and professional athletes are generally the people that grab the media attention, they do not top the list of the highest-asset divorce list.

Most people — especially baseball fans — in California probably remember hearing a lot about the very public and very high-asset divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt. It was not their feuding that caught the most attention; it was the questions surrounding ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers that was raised during the divorce. The professional baseball team was basically a “family business” for the McCourts, and business seems to be what rockets couples to the top of the expensive settlement list.

Other divorce settlements that ranked high on the list involved other couples also deeply involved in business. The wife of Ukrainian Michael Polsky — a man who made it big in the independent energy generation industry — received $184 million in 2006. Marlene Fipke, a diamond prospector’s wife was handed a cool $120 million in cash as well as 20 percent of stock in the diamond mine.

The couple who founded Black Entertainment Television has a settlement amount of $400 million. Stephen Wynn of the Wynn casino in Las Vegas paid out $740 million to his ex-wife. If that isn’t enough, the media mogul Rupert Murdoch voluntarily agreed to pay his ex-wife $1.7 billion in their amicable divorce.

High-asset divorces often require some very serious legal finesse regardless of whether the divorce is amicable or adversarial.

Source: The Washington Times, “World’s most expensive divorces all mean business,” Myra Fleischer, June 19, 2012