California residents may have heard that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife are divorcing after 25 years of marriage. It is believed that the couple had a joint net worth of about $136 billion. One of the issues that will need to be resolved during their divorce is to determine how to divide the wealth. As a general rule, divorces involving wealthy people tend to be more complicated because of the assets that they hold.
In many cases, their wealth is held in stocks or stock options. There may also be assets such as Cayman bank accounts or rare collectibles that need to be appraised. How a divorce is decided depends on where a divorcing couple lives, and the Bezos family lived in Washington. Since Washington is a 50/50 community state, it’s possible that Amazon itself will be considered community property.
If that’s the case, both Jeff Bezos and his former wife would receive about $65 billion worth of company stock. That would make his former wife the richest woman in the world, and Bill Gates would reclaim the title of the richest man in the world. There was some gossip suggesting that the divorce was the result of an affair. However, that would likely have little impact on the final settlement in this particular matter.
The divorce process may be amicable or contentious in nature depending on many different factors. Those who can communicate with their former spouses or those who have prenuptial agreements may find it easiest to finalize a divorce in a timely and civil manner. Working with a mediator could also make it possible for a split to be settled in a civil manner. An attorney may represent a person regardless of how a divorce settlement is reached.