3 Lessons to Learn from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Divorce

by Chelan A. Vukas on Mar. 05, 2019

Divorce & Family Law Divorce Divorce & Family Law 

Summary: 3 Lessons to Learn from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Divorce

Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and Forbes 2018 Richest Man in the World has recently made headlines for his divorce from his wife of 25 years MacKenzie Bezos. Bloomberg estimates Jeff Bezos has a current net worth of 134-Billion-dollars.  Although few of us have net worth even a fraction of that of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, there are still important lessons all of us can learn from his divorce. 

  1. Prenuptial Agreement

Jeff Bezos 134-Billion-dollar worth may soon be cut nearly in half. It has been reported that the Bezos may not of had a prenuptial agreement. This may wind up being a very costly mistake for Jeff Bezos.

A prenuptial agreement or “prenup” is a contract two people sign before marriage which provides for the protection of property and assets in the event of a divorce.  In a community property state, absent a prenuptial agreement, assets are generally divided equally. For Jeff Bezos, if he did not have a prenuptial agreement, this may mean splitting his very large fortune with his soon to be ex-wife.  

A prenuptial agreement is essential for anyone who owns a business, property, or has any significant wealth prior to marriage. The law requires specific language and requirements in prenuptial agreements in order to make them enforceable. For the average person, drafting an enforceable prenuptial agreement is often a complicated endeavor. Having an attorney draft a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage ensures that your assets and property remain protected. 

  1. Postnuptual Agreement

Although Jeff Bezos may not of had a prenuptial agreement, it is unclear if he and MacKenzie signed a postnuptual agreement when Amazon stock began taking off. If in fact he had, this may end up saving him billions of dollars in his divorce. 

A postnuptual agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, however a postnuptual agreement is made after a couple marries. A postnuptual agreement often contains provisions for the intentions of a party’s earnings, assets and gifts during the marriage and in the event of a divorce. A postnuptual agreement is frequently signed by couples that did not have time to sign a prenumptual agreement before the wedding, or when their circumstances changes. Additionally, postnuptual agreements can be useful for couples who are aware of issues that threaten their relationship and want to gain clarity on areas of conflict. So, if you did not have time to sign a prenumptual agreement before the wedding, or your circumstances have changed, a postnuptual agreement may end up saving you money and heartache in the long run. 

  1. Co-Parenting and Custody Agreements

 Although this still remains to be seen, Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie announced their divorce on Twitter and initially it looks like the parties are working together to parent their children. This appears to be something that Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie are doing right. 

Difficulties co-parenting and custody battles can often end up being one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. Often, a court order for custody and visitation can alleviate a lot of the disagreements between parents. This does not always mean that parties need to take their case to court. If two parents are cordial and have agreed to a custody and visitation schedule, an attorney can assist the parties in making their agreed upon custody schedule an enforceable court order without the parties needing to appear in court. However, often parties disagree greatly on custody and are not able to co-parent. In these cases, it is important for parties to have attorney representation in court to ensure their interests and their children interests are protected. 

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from GAJP Law P.C., or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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