Lessons from the Bezos divorce for your high asset divorce

On behalf of South Tampa Law Group posted in divorce on Wednesday, January 23, 2019.

Florida couples headed for divorce understand that the process ahead can be difficult and challenging, especially for those with particularly valuable assets or wealth. The prospect of a high asset divorce may seem overwhelming, but there are options that may make this process a bit easier. It is possible to secure terms that allow you to secure your long-term interests, even without going to court.

Founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos recently announced that he and his wife of 25 years would be getting divorced. This is particularly interesting for many readers because he founded the very popular online shopping company after their marriage – which means his vast net worth likely counts as marital property. This could make it one of the most expensive divorces that will ever happen.

The big takeaway

Even if you are a high net worth individual, you may not have millions or billions that will be up for grabs during a divorce. However, it is still worth preparing and examining this specific divorce, as there are valuable lessons you can take away and apply to your individual situation. Some helpful tips that may be beneficial for you include the following:

Try to keep your separate property separate. This will make things easier during the property division process. It may also help to document assets that you believe are yours and not eligible for division.
Know how much you have in retirement and the types of accounts you have. Take the time to learn how divorce impacts these types of assets and what you can do to preserve your plans for your golden years.
Make a list of debts, including ones you have already paid. Spouses should carry an equitable amount of marital debt, and keeping track can help you fight for a fair outcome.
If you have stocks, understand how and when they will become vested. Understanding vestment schedules can mean the difference between knowing what is separate versus marital property and accepting a divorce settlement that isn’t truly a fair distribution.

If you have a prenuptial agreement, it is smart to review it before divorce. If you do not, however, you can still pursue fair terms and secure a fair divorce order that will provide both financial security and peace of mind.

A better approach for divorce

For many couples, reaching an out of court settlement is not only easier, it is beneficial for both parties. Through a cooperative divorce, it is possible for two parties to come to reasonable and sustainable solutions for their property division concerns, even when there is significant wealth and valuable assets at stake. A financially complex divorce does not necessarily mean it must be a contentious or litigious divorce.

Before you move forward, it may be prudent to carefully consider all of the divorce options that may be available to you. Through collaboration, mediation or other cooperative means, you can craft a final order that provides you and the other party with stability and security well into the future.