Russian Billionaire’s Third Marriage May End in Most Expensive Divorce in History


Legal experts are predicting that Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, who has separated from his third wife Dasha Zhukova, could become involved in the world’s most expensive divorce in history.

Abramovich, who is the owner of Chelsea FC (a Premiere League soccer team in the U.K.) is worth about $11.5 billion.  Among Abramovich’s assets are the team, the second largest yacht in the world, a fleet of supercars (including a Ferrari FXX Prototype worth about $2.47 million and a Bugatti Veyron, worth about $3 million), and various luxury properties worldwide (including a $99 million mansion in New York City and a $82 million property in London).

Abramovich and Zhukova were married in 2008 and have two children. The former couple maintains that their split is amicable, and have stated “[a]fter 10 years together, the two of us have made the difficult decision to separate, but we remain close friends, parents and partners in the projects we developed together.”

It is unclear whether Zhukova, who is independently wealthy (she is the daughter of an oil tycoon, and is the founder of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art), will pursue her ex-husband for any spousal support or child support. Legal experts are expecting that the couple likely have a pre-nuptial agreement in place and that the divorce will be settled in a Russian court, rather than a British court, despite the former couple’s primary residence being in the U.K.

Abramovich’s previous marriage ended in a $247 million divorce settlement that was finalized in Moscow in 2007. Details are scarce due to the extreme privacy of Russia’s legal system, but it is believed that his previous ex-wife was given a lump sum, four properties, and significant child support for the couple’s five children.

Second (or Third, or Fourth) Marriage and Divorce

Divorcing after a second, third, or subsequent marriage raises a number of complex legal questions and concerns, regardless of how wealthy former spouses are.

If you separate for a second (or additional) time, you may face increased financial risk based on your obligations to your first spouse or previous spouses. Any financial disclosure or obligations that were carried out during your first divorce may impact any subsequent divorces (and vice versa). Obligations that you have towards any children from your previous marriage will continue, as may your obligations to your former spouse.

Estate plans, wills,  life insurance and other policies, pension plans, and other important documents will have to be reviewed to ensure that your beneficiaries are up to date.

A prenuptial agreement (also known as a marriage contract) may help you protect your assets and limit your financial exposure, while ensuring that your former spouse(s) are still taken care of. This is particularly useful where you have significant assets, are a business owner, or otherwise have a high net-worth, but should be considered by anyone before marriage.  A prenuptial agreement can even be entered into after you are already married for a second time.

At Jason P. Howie, Professional Corporation in Windsor, we have more than 25 years of experience handling divorce issues for clients with significant and complex assets, including clients who are looking to marry again after a previous divorce (or previous divorces). We can provide you with the legal advice and guidance you need to protect yourself.

To speak with an experienced Windsor lawyer about re-marriage, call 519.973.1500 or contact us online. Many of our clients are referred to us by former and current clients, as well as by lawyers, accountants, and other professionals.

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