Of all the various legal issues couples must deal with as they move forward to end their marriages, it cannot be said that those with significant assets face any additional steps. However, the complexity of some of those steps can be dramatically different. Property division can be a sticking point even for an average California household with a home, cars, retirement and savings accounts, but the greater the dollar value of a couples’ wealth becomes, the harder it is to craft a mutually agreed upon resolution.
For instance, one can only imagine how complicated a divorce involving the richest person in the world would be. However, soon that will be known as media sources report that Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and his wife of 25 years announced their impending divorce. Over $130 billion dollars is estimated to be the subject of the property division.
It’s in every couple’s best interest to mutually agree to a settlement, both as a money-saving consideration as well as for privacy purposes. If they cannot, the court will make a determination. It then becomes important whether the couple lives in a community property state, a minority of the country or an equitable distribution state. Additionally, a properly executed prenuptial agreement or a less common postnuptial agreement could supersede the state standards.
Other than property division, a divorcing couple must address child custody, child support and alimony. They also may need to revisit these issues in a post-divorce modification. A family law attorney can help negotiate these important matters in a way that removes emotion but respects the rights and responsibilities of all the concerned parties.