Most Expensive Divorces in History

Most Expensive Divorces in History  Infographic

Divorce is expensive for anyone, but especially for the rich.


After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates have reported to be separating. Bill, 65, and Melinda, 56, met at Microsoft, where he famously asked her out “two weeks from tonight” and was turned down. The couple would eventually hit it off, go on to have three kids together, and start the world’s second largest charity, The Gates Foundation.


Bill is the fourth richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $127.1 billion, although this wealth is shared with Melinda. While the exact details of their settlement are yet to be determined, the former couple resides in Washington, a state where spouses often receive a 50/50 split of marital assets. This means Melinda French Gates could see as much as $63.5 billion in assets — the highest amount in history for a divorce settlement.


This unfathomable transfer of wealth has only been seen a few times in history, the most recent of which was in 2019. MacKenzie Scott received $38 billion in Amazon stock from former husband Jeff Bezos for their divorce settlement.


From actors to billionaire media tycoons, here are the most expensive divorce settlements in history.