Not only are “gray divorces” on the rise, but it also seems as though an incredible number of high-profile billionaires are ending their marriages in recent years. We have seen the breakup of high-tech power couples such as Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos and Bill and Melinda Gates, and now another prominent billionaire couple has joined the list. John Paulson is officially divorcing Jenny, his wife of more than 20 years. But as we are quickly discovering, this divorce might play out differently compared to the separations of previous big-name billionaires. 

Who is John Paulson?

John Paulson is a successful investor, and he has been referred to as “one of the most prominent names in high finance.” A truly self-made man, Paulson founded his own investment management firm in 1994 called Paulson & Co. He became a much-discussed figure in 2007, during the mortgage crisis and subsequent recession. During this period, he managed to rake in about $5 billion by betting against the housing market right before it crashed. Over the next few years, he invested in things like gold, Citigroup, and various hedge funds with varying degrees of success. His net worth is an estimated $4.2 billion, although various insiders claim that the real number could be much higher. 

John Did Not Sign a Prenuptial Agreement

One of the most important factors to consider in this divorce is the fact that John and Jenny did not sign a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage. Various reports also suggest that they also did not sign a postnuptial agreement. This means that the amount of assets to be divided  could be astronomical. Although it will not quite reach the levels of the Bezos divorce, Jenny could potentially walk away with billions of dollars.

John’s Success Came After the Marriage

Another important factor to consider is the fact that John earned his billions after the marriage. This means that the bulk of his fortune will be considered marital property, which means that it is eligible for equitable distribution under New York law. The divorce petition has been filed in Suffolk County, and both spouses have hired prominent divorce attorneys. However, experts say that this divorce is unlikely to go to trial, despite the lack of a prenup. The spouses are expected to work things out behind closed doors and move on with their lives without many contentious issues. 

John Invested Heavily in Stocks

As you might expect from an individual who is so involved with the financial world, John Paulson has invested his fortune heavily in various stocks. He has a $750 million stake in Bausch Health, a $748 million stake in Horizon Therapeutics, a $468 million stake in BrightSphere Investment Group, and a $178 million stake in NovaGold Resources, to name but a few. Financial experts believe that the divorce could have a significant effect on these companies due to potential sell-offs. 

The Paulson Estate also Includes Several Properties

Paulson is also closely linked with the real estate world, and it should come as no surprise that his portfolio includes several real estate properties. He owns a 28,500-square-foot Upper East Side townhouse that he purchased in 2004 for $14.7 million. He also purchased an estate in Southampton for $41 million in 2008. One of his most recent acquisitions was a residence in Aspen, purchased for $24.5 million in 2010.