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The Most Costly Breakups

Reports on Monday confirmed that Chris Rock and his wife, Malaak Compton-Rock, have filed for divorce after nearly 20 years of marriage. The couple joins the ranks of Coldplay's front man, Chris Martin, who "consciously uncoupled" from Gwyneth Paltrow earlier in the year, and actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton who announced their separation in December.

When a marriage goes sour and the couple's net worth is in the stratosphere, divorce becomes increasingly more complicated. The absence of an official prenuptial agreement, differences in international law and circumstances surrounding of the breakup can result in large sums being paid out in the divorce settlement.

Without a prenuptial agreement, some high net worth individuals have found divorce to be a costly endeavor. Some of the world's wealthiest people have seen their net worth cut in half by a divorce settlement.

Although most settlements don't get finalized until well after the divorce takes place, there is always speculation when a high net worth divorce is on the horizon, as was the case when Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren went through their highly public split. For Woods, there originally was speculation that the settlement could reach $750 million, although in the end, the actual figure was considerably less, ranking 16th all time.

So, what are the biggest divorce settlements and who has paid the most? There have been several recently that have cracked the top 18. Click ahead for the full list.

By Paul Toscano and Sarah Whitten, CNBC.com.
Updated 29 December 2014

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