On Friday a district court in Moscow held a pretrial hearing into Natalya Potanina's case against her ex-husband, whose estimated worth currently stands at $15.2 billion, according to the Russian edition of Forbes magazine.
In accordance with Russian law, Potanina is seeking half of all of her former spouse's assets acquired during their 30-year marriage — including half of his 30.3 percent stake in Norilsk Nickel, the world's leading producer of nickel and palladium.Seems Russian law is, however, stacked against ex-wives, so;
in an apparent bid to win over the support of the authorities, last April Potanina announced that in the event of victory, she would give her potential 15 percent stake in Norilsk Nickel to the state to control, Interfax reported.Natalya wants to join the record setting club;
If the court finds in favor of Potanina, she will become the richest divorcee in history, replacing the current record holder Yelena Rybolovleva, ex-wife of Russian fertilizer king Dmitry Rybolovlev, who was awarded a $4.5 billion settlement one year ago.But it was a Swiss court responsible for that award, not a Russian one. And, Russian courts can be vindictive;
Russian courts have universally ruled against the former wives of former oligarchs. In 2003 Yelena Novitskaya, the ex-wife of steel tycoon Alexei Mordashov, whose estate was estimated by Forbes at $13 billion in 2015, lost her court case against her ex in the city of Cherepovets following a relatively modest initial divorce settlement.
Novitskaya was not only denied any further share of her husband's fortune, she was also ordered by the court to pay 213 million rubles ($4 million) in court expenses.