11 January 2019
Amazon, it can deliver all day long and often with Prime the very next day. One would be forgiven therefore for thinking Amazon’s owner Jeff Bezo will be hoping for a quick and relatively painless divorce.
With Mr Bezo and his wife having now announced that are set to divorce after 25-years of marriage the initial reports suggested it was all rather amicable. Keeping matters amicable will always help to ensure divorce and financial matters can be dealt with rather swiftly, with minimal costs to both parties and where children are involved can help to protect the emotional well-being of the children through, what can often be a traumatic time.
Whilst American rules on divorce and division of assets is different to the UK, within the UK the starting point would have been a 50/50 division of all the assets. On the basis that the Amazon brand (and no doubt the parties substantial other assets across the world) will likely have been built up during the marriage, the likely division of assets would be 50/50.
Of course, any division will depend on how the companies and assets are structured, and what assets are in whose names.
High-net-worth divorces can often be very complicated: parties may have significant pensions, shares, trusts may be in place as well as various assets and luxury items which may be dispersed around the world. Aside from identifying the assets very often jurisdiction can become an issue leaving courts struggling to find the means and way to enforce the order.
On the other hand the situation could also be very straight forward had the parties signed a pre / post nuptial agreement although we are highly unlike to ever be made aware of the terms generally due to non-discloser agreement.
The only question now is will Mr Bezo remain the world richest man once he completes his divorce?