While our blog often covers situations where couples going through a divorce disagree on any number of items, we always try to help our clients reach amicable solutions to their family legal problems. We do this through the collaborative family law process as well as through alternative dispute resolution. While it can be difficult for a couple to reach a place where they can take an amicable approach, it is possible. This was illustrated this past week when the high profile divorce between Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced they had reached what could be the world’s largest ever divorce settlement.
A headline-worthy divorce
The parties announced their plans to divorce earlier in the year. They issued a joint statement about their separation, writing on Twitter,
“We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends. We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again. We’ve had such a great life together as a married couple, and we also see wonderful times ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursing ventures and adventures. Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends.”
One of the first questions people began asking was how their wealth (an estimated $137 billion) would be divided. Nearly $130 billion of their wealth is tied up in Amazon stock. The couple were married before the start of Amazon. MacKenzie once wrote that she was involved in the early days of Amazon, stating “”I was there when he wrote the business plan, and I worked with him and many others represented in the converted garage, the basement warehouse closet, the barbecue-scented offices, the Christmas-rush distribution centres, and the door-desk filled conference rooms in the early years of Amazon’s history.”
An agreement reached
Those looking for a lengthy and bitter high profile divorce trial seem to be out of luck. The couple issued joint Twitter statements earlier in April. MacKenzie explained in her post that she was giving Jeff all of her interest in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, as well as 75% of the couple’s Amazon stock. Her statement in full reads
“Grateful to have finished the process of dissolving my marriage with Jeff with support from each other and everyone who reached out to us in kindness, and looking forward to next phase as co-parents and friends. Happy to be giving him all of my interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, and 75% of our Amazon stock plus voting control of my shares to support his continued contributions with the teams of these incredible companies. Excited about my own plans. Grateful for the past as I look forward to what comes next.”
In this case, the Bezos family seems to have been able to put their differences aside in order to reach an amicable agreement around some details of their divorce. At Borden Family Law we have been helping clients with their family law matters for over 17 years. We know that the breakdown of a relationship is a difficult experience to go through. We use our experience and knowledge to help you and your spouse come to agreements that work for all involved, ideally without having to step foot in a court room. Please call us at 905-576-6090 or reach us online if you have any family law issues you need help with.