The owner of AS Monaco football club, Dmitry Rybolovlev, is about to break a world record for all the wrong reasons. The Russian oligarch has been ordered to pay a divorce settlement of Dhs16.6 billion to his wife of 24 years.

A Swiss court in Geneva, where the couple used to live together, delivered papers on Monday to state that 47-year-old Rybolovlev must give half of his fortune to estranged wife, Elena, also 47. The sum is a whopping 4,020,555,987.80 Swiss francs (over Dhs16.6 billion). Elena’s lawyer has dubbed the settlement “the most expensive divorce in history”.

But the jackpot for Rybolovlev’s ex-wife doesn’t stop there. The judgment has also granted her property worth US$146 million (Dhs602 million), which includes a ski chalet in Gstaad and two other pieces of hot real estate in the affluent area of Cologny in Geneva. Custody of their 13-year-old daughter Anna has been granted to Elena. The couple also have an adult daughter together named Ekaterina.

Though the settlement is substantial, it’s likely to take some time before it’s paid. Rybolovlev’s lawyer, Tetiana Bersheda, told reporters that they will certainly fight to have the cash sum lowered. “There will definitely be a new appellate review and therefore this judgment is not final given the existence of two levels of appeal in Switzerland,” she said.

However a statement from Mrs Rybolovlev’s lawyers hinted that the ruling came after a futile attempt from Mr Rybolovlev to hide his money. “One may reasonably presume that Mr Rybolovlev will appeal,” it read. “But the judgment shows already that, for the Geneva Tribunal of First Instance, no one — not even a Russian tycoon who put his fabulous fortune into legal structures such as trusts and offshore companies — is above the law.”

The ruling follows a six-year legal battle, in which Rybolovlev, who made his money through a fertiliser business, aimed to stop his ex-wife obtaining some seriously lavish assets. One of the biggest contentions between the couple was a Greek island worth a reported Dhs618 million.

The fact that this is expected to be the world’s largest fee is some feat, considering divorce settlements from some of the globe’s wealthiest tycoons. Alec Wildenstein settled at Dhs9 billion in the split from his wife, Jocelyne, while Anna Murdoch, former wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, was granted Dhs5.8 billion.

Disgraced PR guru, Max Clifford, is expected to be the next rich-lister to have an expensive settlement. He and estranged wife Jo claim to be going through an “amicable” divorce following Clifford’s eight-year prison sentence for sexually abusing young girls. Clifford is worth a reported Dhs62 million, meaning Jo’s settlement is likely to be small change in comparison to Elena Rybolovlev’s record breaking sum.

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