It’s not the Golden Gate Bridge, but close.
$4.8 billion dollars was the divorce settlement amount awarded by a Swiss court to Elena Rybolovleva, a seemingly fair ruling given that it’s about half her ex-husband’s fortune worth $8.5 billion. After 26 years of turbulent marriage with the Russian Billionaire Dmitry Rybolovleva, Elena had had enough of his infidelities so she filed a divorce in 2008. The trial went public and ugly until an agreement was finally reached in 2014, where the exact divorce payout was settled behind closed doors.
We thought we had seen the costliest marriage break-ups from famous personalities. Michael Jordan divorced Juanita for $168 million, ending their rather complicated 17-year marriage. Roman Abramovich awarded Irina Abramovich $300 million and four mansions on their break-up. Tiger Woods’s split with Elin Nordegren cost him $750 million. And who would forget about Rupert Murdoch’s 1.7 billion-dollar divorce with his wife for 30 years, Anna Murdoch?
These are fanciful numbers for us because we rarely give a thought to the heart of the matter. How much does it really cost to invest in a marriage? And is a divorce payout good enough as a reward for years of staying in a relationship? It’s hard to answer for everyone because we are all different.
It doesn’t matter if you get a massive engagement ring, wear the most expensive wedding gown, or have an uber extravagant wedding ceremony. As we have seen, couples who splurge on their wedding do not necessarily divorce-proof their marriage. Maybe at some point they have broken the golden rule of great and lasting relationships: mutual generosity.
Or perhaps some unions were just not meant to last.