The divorce of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos is notable for many reasons, but most focus on the fact that world’s richest couple is dividing their estate in half despite Jeff’s business interests and earnings. This is obviously by choice – there was no prenup or postnup. While there is a $137 billion estate to divide in half, per community property rules where they filed in Washington as well as here in Texas, it may not take nearly as long as many predict.
According to Bloomberg, the divorce could be a quick and low conflict. There is no minimizing the trauma of terminating a 25-year marriage as well as the impact it will have upon the couple’s four children. Nonetheless, there is more than enough money to go around, which means there is less reason to fight over it.
The couple also claims that they plan to remain friends, which should clear many roadblocks that have mitigated other messy high-ticket divorces: one example is Frank and Jamie McCourt, whose acrimony led them to selling the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Some precedence for low-conflict high-asset divorce
There have been other billionaires who have been able to amicable or at least quickly resolve the matter:
Sergey Brin & Anne Wojcicki: This couple included the founder of Google who is worth over $50 billion and a wife who was a Silicon Valley player. The two parted ways yet still appear in public together with their two kids.
Harold Hamm & Sue Ann Hamm: This couple had some acrimony, but Harold opted to simply write a check to his wife for about $975 million, which was 5 percent of his net worth.
A smart approach
The emotional toll of a divorce can be heavy, but needlessly fighting in court does not make good financial sense. The wealthy often understand how to manage money and protect a large estate, and can often apply that logic to divorce.
Sometimes litigation cannot be avoided, however, and regardless of the understanding the couple has concerning their divorce, it is still important to ensure that each party is acting in a fair and equitable manner. An experienced Board-Certified Family Law expert attorney who works in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, or elsewhere in Texas can help ensure that a client’s rights are protected while getting the low conflict-high asset divorce they want.