As number 148 on the Forbes list of billionaires, Russian-born Dmitry Rybolovlev is well known in elite circles for his profitable and successful business ventures. More recently, Rybolovlev made international headlines, not for his businesses prowess, but for his divorce from his wife of 23 years.
Heralded as “the most expensive divorce in history”, Rybolovlev was recently ordered by a Swiss judge to pay his ex-wife more than $4.5 billion dollars. The 47-year-old billionaire is estimated to have a net worth of $8.8 billion, the bulk of which he amassed during the last 14 years by investing in Russian potassium fertilizer entities.
Today, it’s reported that Rybolovlev’s assets include a “controlling stake in the French soccer team AS Monaco” as well as more than $486 million in real estate properties in New York, Florida and France. The couple has been embroiled in bitter divorce proceedings since 2008 and last year a deal was reportedly reached which would have required Rybolovlev to pay his ex $1 billion. At that time, however, Rybolovlev claimed he was not allowed by an attorney to access liquid assets held in a trust. A claim which his ex-wife vehemently refuted.
Based on the recent decision by a Swiss judge, it appears as though Rybolovlev would have been much better off had he accepted the terms of the original divorce settlement agreement. It’s also reported that Rybolovlev’s 47-year-old ex-wife believes her ex is hiding assets in the form of U.S. real estate investments, a percentage to which she may legally have a claim.
The Rybolovlev divorce is definitely one for the record books. While the amount and value of the assets and properties in this case may be unique, Arizona couples going through a divorce face many of the same challenges. Disputes between former spouses related to the division of assets and property as well as claims of hidden assets are common and require legal expertise to resolve.
Source: CNN.com, “Divorce reportedly costs Russian olgarch $4.5 billion, with a B,” Elliott C. McLaughlin, May 20, 2014The New York Daily News, “Billion-dollar blunder: Russia’s fertilizer king could have settled divorce for billions less,” Dareh Gregorian, May 22, 2014