How divorces can affect the super-rich

Given that the news of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the current richest man in the world who is about to divorce his wife of 25 years, citizens of California would not be faulted for wondering how his huge fortune will get split up. In fact, this story illustrates how the divorce proceedings of the ultra-wealthy differ from those of the average couple.

To start with, whereas average spouses have to worry about their retirement and savings accounts when getting divorced, extremely wealthy individuals often have an abundance of financial assets. Examples include stocks, bonds and derivatives, all of which can complicate divorce proceedings. In addition, the super-rich often have private art collections or bank accounts in the Cayman Islands.

The second difference comes in the form of alimony payments. Regular people have to worry about paying their soon-to-be exes a sum of money each month in order to maintain their standard of living. Alternatively, when a wealthy couple gets divorced, they split more assets together. Since each party still ends up with enough money to live a decent life, judges often believe that neither party needs support payments from the other.

However, there are several similarities between wealthy divorces and regular splits. For one, the distribution of assets is dictated by where the divorce is taking place. Property division may be different depending on if the home state endorses the concept of community property or equitable distribution. The other similarity is that how amicable or ugly the divorce ends up being all boils down to the personalities of both parties more than anything else.

With all that being said, anyone going through a divorce could use the services of a family law attorney. Not only can a lawyer find out how much a couple is worth, but they can also take steps to help make sure the divorce process goes as smooth as possible.

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