Family Law

Swiss court awards $4.5 billion in divorce; can ex-wife collect?


The ex-wife of a Russian billionaire has been awarded $4.5 billion in a divorce—a record amount for a divorce, according to her lawyer.

A Swiss court ordered Dmitry Rybolovlev to pay that amount to his former wife, Elena, in papers delivered to the parties on Monday, the Associated Press reports. Her lawyer, Marc Bonnant, says it was “the most expensive divorce in history.”

Bonnant and other lawyers for Elena Rybolovleva said Swiss law requires equal division of money acquired during a marriage. Dmitry Rybolovlev made most of his money from the sale of his stake in a fertilizer company, according to the stories on the divorce by Reuters and Forbes.

It’s unclear whether Elena Rybolovleva will be able to collect all the money, Forbes says. The award will be reviewed on appeal. And much of Dmitry Rybolovlev’s fortune is held in trusts for the couple’s two children. “Which brings up the very real question of how much indeed she will be able to recover,” Fortune says, “given these complicated trusts but also the fact that the bulk of the fortune is held outside of Switzerland.”

Elena Rybolovleva’s last name was corrected on May 21.

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