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A high-asset divorce for the record books

Superlatives are thrown around a lot these days. But it is nonetheless noteworthy when the “world’s richest person” gets a divorce. We’re talking, of course, about Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon who is worth an estimated $110 billion. He will remain the world’s richest person even after his divorce settlement, the terms of which were recently announced.

Although none of us are likely to achieve anywhere near this level of success, there are several important things we can learn from studying the Bezos’ divorce. The first is that even the highest-asset divorce case can be resolved amicably.

News of the couple’s divorce first became widely public in January, which coincided with a scandal involving Jeff Bezos and a new paramour. Although that seemed to signal a rocky start to the proceedings, the couple has apparently already worked out the terms of their settlement.

Under the deal, Jeff Bezos will give MacKenzie about 4 percent of his company’s stock, which comes to more than $35 billion in value. In return, she is trading away her interests in two other Bezos family properties, the Washington Post and Blue Origin. Even though MacKenzie apparently isn’t taking half of the couple’s net worth when she leaves, the settlement nonetheless makes her the third-richest woman in the world.

The divorcing couple has been married for 25 years, which is an impressive run by most standards. It is even more impressive in light of the stresses that come with running a successful business, experiencing a dramatic change in net worth and reportedly working around the clock. These are stressors that can put any marriage at risk. The fact that these two are divorcing amicably after 25 years is inspirational.

If you are a business owner or simply have a complex financial portfolio, going through a divorce can be especially complicated and contentious. As such, you should work with a family law attorney who is experienced in high-asset divorce, business protection in divorce and other matters that will be relevant to your case.

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