Classes from Jeff Bezos’ Divorce


Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and his spouse of 25 years, MacKenzie, introduced their divorce by way of Twitter on Wednesday. It’s type of a giant deal.

“He’s the richest man on the planet,” notes legal professional Ben Hodas, accomplice at Fisher, Potter, Hodas, “so we are able to safely say there’s no different divorce like this one.”

On Thursday, studies emerged from the ever-reliable TMZ that the couple didn’t have a prenuptial settlement in place. Perhaps the largest divorce ever and no prenup? What a catastrophe, proper? Perhaps not.

“Generally the more cash there’s, the much less there’s to struggle about,” explains Hodas. “The [Bezos divorce] is an anomaly. It’s a as soon as in a lifetime divorce. He’s the richest man on the planet and everyone knows what their web price is comprised of due to public disclosures. Each side will get a lot cash that it’ll possible find yourself a case of ‘simply give me my cash and get out of right here.’”

Nevertheless, that the dearth of a prenup within the Bezos’ case might not be disastrous doesn’t imply the doc is any much less important, significantly for high-net-worth purchasers.

In response to Hodas, “When you’ve got a high-net-worth particular person whose considering marriage, [a prenup] might be a very powerful and significant doc that that particular person ought to think about.”

Michelle Brownstein, Director of Personal Consumer Providers at Private Capital, agrees. “It could present for a stronger marriage to have an settlement in place in order that there’s an understanding of who owns what property and what money owed, who’s answerable for dealing with them and what’s anticipated of every accomplice. It takes these query marks out of the heads of the events.”

Although purchasers excited concerning the prospect of getting married are usually loath to throw a moist blanket on issues by discussing a prenup, Brownstein stresses the must be pragmatic and notes that the method of placing collectively a prenup is one that may be very helpful. “Couples don’t like to speak about prenups as a result of it feels unromantic. However, in any long-term partnership, there’s the romantic and emotional facet, however there’s additionally a enterprise facet that usually doesn’t get spoken about sufficient when it’s possible you’ll be wrapped up in marriage ceremony planning and different emotionally thrilling issues.”

And for Brownstein, the conversations that essentially happen within the technique of drafting a prenup are completely invaluable. “One of many largest points you’ll see is couples shying away from speaking about cash. Cash is without doubt one of the main causes of divorce, so in case you don’t get on the identical web page about not solely who will get what, however your shared particular person monetary targets and what you’re making an attempt to do together with your property, that may develop into a giant reason behind stress in a wedding.” She continues, “A very powerful level; the important thing half in all of that is having the dialogue and eliminating that gray space of ‘I assumed this, however we by no means actually talked about it.’”

Curiously, each Hodas and Brownstein agree that the method of negotiating a prenup is usually considerably simpler for high-net-worth couples than these with fewer property.

Brownstein explains, “With high-net-worth divorces, the numbers are typically greater, however meaning there’s usually extra flexibility on either side. They every are likely to have much more choices than two people who come into a wedding with much less.”

Finally, she notes “Nobody goes into a wedding considering they’ll get divorced, however the actuality is that the majority marriages finish in divorce, so that you need to be sure to’re being real looking in your planning. A prenup can take away a whole lot of the gray space that may include cash.”


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