Divorce was not particularly common in most of the 20th century, and few millionaires had to manage the division of an estate at the end of a marriage. However, changes starting in the 1970s now mean that half of U.S. marriages end in divorce, and the rich are no exception.
One of the largest divorce settlements in history, between a billionaire tech entrepreneur and his former wife, created the fourth richest single woman in the world. This is even after the woman announced that her ex-husband can retain a huge majority of shares in his core company, and he will also retain the couple's interests in other companies they owned.
Although many states like Florida allow people to divorce without a judgment of fault against one spouse, infidelities may complicate divorce proceedings. Spurned spouses may have a case for emotional distress or loss of reputation that may result in more favorable settlements or court judgments dealing with shared assets.
Various pieces of evidence may deal with infidelities or other deceptions that could cost spouses in divorce court. Credit card records of expenditures on affairs, for example, may not only show bad behavior during a marriage. It may show money that should be considered communal property in a split of assets.
People who are considering or preparing for a divorce with many valuable assets involved can consult an attorney on how to get these parts of a case ready. Mediation or negotiation may also avoid a time-consuming and expensive court process if couples can find an amicable way out of their differences.