The end of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ 25-year marriage in Jan. 2019 caught many people off-guard. The fact that his long-term marriage was irretrievably broken may not have surprised many people, but the staggering $137 million fortunate that he found himself needing to split up with his spouse did.
This case caused many to question what’s different about how divorce attorneys help high-net-worth couples reach settlements in their cases compared to ones of more average means.
What sets high-profile and high-asset divorces apart from other divorces
Many high-asset clients don’t just have a bank account, a single house and a car or two to split up when they divorce. Instead, they may have multiples of each of these. They also tend to have diversified assets, meaning that they’ve invested most of their wealth in stocks. Pinning down a value for any shares in startups can be challenging as they’re constantly growing their revenue.
Another detail unique about high-profile couples’ divorces is that very few people ever learn details about child custody and asset division negotiations in these cases. The primary reason why this information never becomes public is that couples often negotiate a settlement in their case in mediation to protect their privacy.
High-net-worth couples may have more options when it comes to paying alimony awards or dividing up property as well. One spouse may pay their recipient ex using dividends from an investment portfolio. Attorneys may also help these couples decide how to best co-manage their ownership stakes in a business following their split to include how to address shareholder voting rights.
How Kentucky’s property division laws work
Kentucky subscribes to the equitable distribution doctrine. While judges generally try to empower couples to reach a property division settlement on their own, they aim to divide up a couples’ assets according to what’s fair instead of in half when they step in and make a decision themselves. Various factors, including the length of the marriage and each parties’ involvement in generating the income, may impact how the distribution of assets turns out.
It’s not uncommon for Kentucky spouses facing a high-net-worth divorce to downplay their job or salary or hide assets to keep their losses to a minimum. An attorney can help advise you of the steps you’ll want to take in your Lexington divorce to protect your financial interests.