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What divorcing couples can learn from Amazon founder’s split

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2019 | High-asset Divorce

Some people in Florida might have heard about the impending divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife. The two released a statement that indicated their intention to continue cooperating. Couples in high-asset relationships and those with fewer assets who are divorcing may be able to learn from their approach.

Prioritizing is important. People may want to think about what they will ask for in the divorce and what they are willing to compromise on. They should also prioritize the stability of their family life and job security. This means trying to avoid conflict and negativity related to the divorce, particularly in social and work environments.

Depending on the complexity of the situation, a team of professionals may be needed. This could include financial advisers, an attorney and a therapist. People who are divorcing should try to think about the process as dissolving a business arrangement despite the emotions involved. In some divorces, such as that of Jeff Bezos and his wife, making business arrangements is a large part of what the divorce settlement will consist of. For example, since Washington is a community property state, they might each take half of the stock. Former spouses should be prepared to settle when an acceptable compromise comes their way. Litigation can be public, expensive and stressful.

Unfortunately, some divorce cases do end up in litigation, and if this happens, a person’s attorney may be able to assist them with strategies. However, prior to this point, even a high-conflict couple may be able to resolve their differences through mediation. In a high-asset divorce in Florida, if one person owns a business, the couple will not necessarily have to split it 50/50 like the Bezoses because Florida is not a community property state. Other considerations, such as how much each spouse worked on the business, will determine the split.