Should there be a cap on how much you can get on a divorce?

Bezos got divorced. Apparently his wife has the right to half his assets. Would like to hear some opinions on this.

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Comments (51)

Jan 9, 2019

i don't think a cap in terms of $ amount is possible, but I've always found it ridiculous that assets are split 50/50 in divorces

i guess the solution is to get a prenup

if you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful

Jan 9, 2019

it's ridiculous that your partner can get half of your assets in a divorce, like wtf bitch, i earned this myself, why do i have to give you any??

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Jan 9, 2019

they married before amazon was a thing...can argue that she helped create it (this is why the 50% split is assumed as a baseline)

just google it...you're welcome

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Jan 9, 2019

made worse by the fact that she was an early employee.

Most Helpful
Jan 9, 2019

Agreed, there's truth to the "family unit" argument. In this case, I don't buy she generated $80bl of the fortune, but in the case of two working professionals each making roughly $200k a year with the wife leaving her trajectory to raise two kids for 5-10 years, she has every right to half the family's worth if a divorce occurs.

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Jan 9, 2019
Cav21x:

Agreed, there's truth to the "family unit" argument. In this case, I don't buy she generated $80bl of the fortune, but in the case of two working professionals each making roughly $200k a year with the wife leaving her trajectory to raise two kids for 5-10 years, she has every right to half the family's worth if a divorce occurs.

Moreover, I don't think assigning dollar values is right, either. Its hard to justify that Jeff Bezos created XXX billion worth of value, either. Jeff Bezos created a company which is now worth that much, which has as much and really, vastly more to do with the efforts of many people and the way the market played out. His wife has a very viable claim to saying that her contributions to the marriage made it possible for him to build the company he did. Perhaps even 50% of it.

But that shouldn't even be the issue. Long story short, anyone getting married is signing up for giving away half their assets in a divorce, unless the have a prenup. That's all there is to it. If you don't protect your future assets, you have no right to complain. If you sign a personal guarantee to your lender when you take out a mortgage, no one will have a shred of sympathy when they come looking to collect, nor should they. From a transaction point of view, which I know many people here pride themselves on having, this is Mr. Bezos getting his just desserts for a poor financial decision, even before you factor in any contributions or value Mrs. Bezos chipped in.

Jan 9, 2019

You don't know what went on in their marriage. Maybe he asked her about every big issue facing him and never acted unless she agreed.

Point is, don't let sums at stake mislead you about value of her contribution. If she's entitled to x% of their wealth, then that's what she gets.

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Jan 9, 2019

For the sake of argument, two ways to look at this that justify the astronomical payout for his wife:
1) What did each partner contribute to the family's wealth? @Cav21x describes this well above. To the extent his wife sacrificed her own career/earnings/stability to support Jeff, it makes sense that she would participate in the upside after divorce.
2) Marriage is a contract with default provisions on what to do with the assets upon dissolution. Most people don't consider that because Romance, but if anyone was capable of understanding, it was Bezos. If he didn't want to share the upside of entrepreneurship with his wife, he shouldn't have gotten married.

Jan 9, 2019

This. She also quit her job at DE Shaw to move with him out to Seattle as he started Amazon. She uprooted her life for him to build the business that earned him his net worth. She's entitled to some of that.

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Jan 9, 2019

This. It really only makes sense. How do we know she would not have become the richest person in the world if Jeff stayed home with the kids? (I know that is a stretch, but the main idea is that you cannot put a number on opportunity cost, so 50/50 is the only way to do it). If you married up and your spouse makes more than you could ever have dreamed of, that is what the spouse paying gets for marrying down. Plus, it sounds like Jeff was cheating, so he does not have a leg to stand on in the argument, if she was pushing for the divorce after she had cheated on Jeff for 20 years, that is another story, but it sounds like he screwed this up. If the spouse is truly a selfish sloth, the 50/50 thing sucks, but for 95% of cases, it makes sense.

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Jan 9, 2019

Bezos will launch an exhaustive search for eligible new wife candidates from all over North America, only to settle on two mistresses from Northern Virginia and New York City.

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Jan 9, 2019

excellent

Jan 10, 2019

Stripped straight from reddit but +1 either way.

Funniest
Jan 9, 2019

His new wife should arrive in 3-5 business days. 2 if he has Amazon prime

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Jan 9, 2019

If his wife really ends up getting half, fuck that.

She definitely does deserve a considerable sum, say 5-10% of Bezo's shares in Amazon. That's plenty... she's a greedy b1tch if she tries taking him for more than $5-10bn.... that's already crazy money.

She should feel like a thief if she really does end up taking half.

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Jan 9, 2019

I think he cheated on her, she might not be thinking about money as much as revenge.

Jan 9, 2019

Agreed 110%.. Amazon was Jeff Bezos' invention and is the sole reason for his net worth.
His wife did not have a trajectory that would have netted her close to $70 billion.
After all, at DE Shaw, she worked under Jeff........ How can anyone say she could've made 70 billion on her own when even DE Shaw himself is worth like 6.2 billion...

thots and prayers

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Jan 16, 2019
2and20:

Agreed 110%.. Amazon was Jeff Bezos' invention and is the sole reason for his net worth.
His wife did not have a trajectory that would have netted her close to $70 billion.
After all, at DE Shaw, she worked under Jeff........ How can anyone say she could've made 70 billion on her own when even DE Shaw himself is worth like 6.2 billion...

How can you say she wouldn't have?

More importantly, you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors in their home. Who knows if one night 25 years ago it was Mrs. Bezos who said "maybe you should sell something other than books?" You are assuming that it must have been Jeff Bezos behind every decision. That the quality of his home life, which she provides 100% of the value on, has nothing to do with his effectiveness as a businessman.

And again, he knew all this going in, so I'm not sure why it's a question of "deserves" or not. As far as any of us should be concerned, it's a question of contractual obligation. The marriage is the contract and 50% of the marital assets is the poison pill for dissolving it. She deserves that as much as any junior partner deserves their payout when screwed (or not, in this case) by their partner.

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Jan 16, 2019
Ozymandia:

How can you say she wouldn't have?

More importantly, you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors in their home. Who knows if one night 25 years ago it was Mrs. Bezos who said "maybe you should sell something other than books?"

There are so many ways to rip apart your entire argument, but I am not even going to bother going there. Do you have any idea how many multi-million/billion dollar businesses are started by suggestions from friends/parents/family etc? Do they get half of your company? The answer to that is NO. Sure she provided him support---but 70$ billion worth of support is questionable. She played the role that any supportive wife would have.

I refuse to argue with you on who founded Amazon, and who deserves the credit for it.
Refer to this link http://lmgtfy.com/?q=who+founded+amazon Mackenzie isn't even listed as a co-founder.

I've seen your comments on other posts and you have a pretty extreme view on most things.
The question you should ask yourself is whether Mackenzie Bezos provided close to $70 billion of value to Amazon. The answer to that is a resounding no. Successful entrepreneurs in this country are constantly screwed by marriage laws when divorce happens, whether it be the average Joe or a billionaire like Jeff Bezos. This isn't a man vs. woman debate. It easily could've been a female billionaire being screwed over in the divorce over a company she founded. I'm not even a Trump supporter, but do you think his exes should deserve 50% credit for his billions? He seems to be a successful guy regardless of the person he is with. I have no doubt the case would have been the same for Jeff Bezos, his invention was revolutionary and highly disruptive.

Just because we have ink on the paper that tells us that 50% is a fair split doesn't mean it is. Keep in mind we had laws in this country that allowed slavery, prevented women from voting, Jim Crowe etc..... You have no idea how many people I know that don't even want to consider the idea of marriage because they have to then think if she/he is worth 50% of their assets. And we all know how pre-nups can be tossed aside. Point is don't tell me that since people have been losing 50% of their assets in divorces for ages, that's the way we should keep things. Divorce laws need to be revamped completely, and need to be more fair.

thots and prayers

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Jan 16, 2019
2and20:

There are so many ways to rip apart your entire argument, but I am not even going to bother going there. Do you have any idea how many multi-million/billion dollar businesses are started by suggestions from friends/parents/family etc? Do they get half of your company? The answer to that is NO. Sure she provided him support---but 70$ billion worth of support is questionable. She played the role that any supportive wife would have.

Of course, she's also his partner, in a very literal sense. As a previous poster mentioned, you can't measure what might have been. At the end of the day, Mackenzie and Jeff Bezos were partners, married partners, and while you can quibble over who contributed how much value to Amazon, at the end of the day it's an un-quantifiable number. All we know is that Mackenzie Bezos gave up a lucrative career of her own in order to support Jeff's. Would she have made 70 billion? Unlikely but not impossible. Would Jeff Bezos be where he is today without her support? Unquestionably no. He might even be more successful, of course, but the point is that whatever he's built has been done with some amount of input from her.

I refuse to argue with you on who founded Amazon, and who deserves the credit for it.
Refer to this link http://lmgtfy.com/?q=who+founded+amazon Mackenzie isn't even listed as a co-founder.

Cool, because I'm not arguing this, even indirectly?

The question you should ask yourself is whether Mackenzie Bezos provided close to $70 billion of value to Amazon.

This is an impossible question to answer. As well ask if Jeff Bezos provided $140b in value to Amazon? Net worth and value contributions are in no way equal. That any human being can provide that much value is unlikely. You can argue that crazy tech valuations, the way technology and consumer tastes are changing, etc are all drivers of Amazon's value, not necessarily Mr. Bezos. He created a very valuable company and has reaped the rewards of that. She was by his side providing qualitative support throughout; why shouldn't she reap the rewards as well?

Successful entrepreneurs in this country are constantly screwed by marriage laws when divorce happens, whether it be the average Joe or a billionaire like Jeff Bezos. This isn't a man vs. woman debate. It easily could've been a female billionaire being screwed over in the divorce over a company she founded.

Who was making it a man vs woman debate? Not me. No one is getting "screwed" by marriage laws, because everyone should know what the division of a marital estate will be upon divorce before getting married. It's like saying you got screwed in contract negotiations because you didn't read what you were signing. That's your own damn fault.

And again, you seem think that because the value of a welcoming home environment is impossible to quantify, that it's worth nothing. There are a million branch points where Jeff Bezos could have made a different decision about the direction of Amazon that would have changed the trajectory of the company, and it's not difficult to imagine a scenario in which having a different sounding board at home, a different experience every night, be that more stress or less love or whatever, changes one of those decisions.

I'm not even a Trump supporter, but do you think his exes should deserve 50% credit for his billions? He seems to be a successful guy regardless of the person he is with.

To start, he doesn't have billions. His money was inherited, not earned, for the most part. Nevertheless, I think that anything he's made since marrying any of his wives, they have a claim on. Any family property inherited, no, they have no claim on. Any earnings or wealth protected by a pre-nup, same story. Any marital estate accumulated while together? Yeah, they deserve their cut.

I have no doubt the case would have been the same for Jeff Bezos, his invention was revolutionary and highly disruptive.

Lets calm down here. Jeff Bezos didn't "invent" anything. Online sales were a thing before him. He's an excellent businessman and I agree he's created something amazing. But again, at all the million branch points in his career, can you conclusively argue that he would have made all the same choices if Mackenzie wasn't in his life? If the answer isn't a resounding "yes", then there isn't an argument. She contributed to the marital estate in a meaningful way, and since you can't define what the dollar value of that contribution is, half and half is the most fair way to divide the pie.

Just because we have ink on the paper that tells us that 50% is a fair split doesn't mean it is.

Contractually speaking, it is. That is the point of a contract.

Keep in mind we had laws in this country that allowed slavery, prevented women from voting, Jim Crowe etc..... You have no idea how many people I know that don't even want to consider the idea of marriage because they have to then think if she/he is worth 50% of their assets.

I'll ignore the first part, since if you're honestly comparing slavery or Jim Crow to the concept of dividing the marital estate equally upon divorce, this conversation is over.

And your friends aren't not getting married because they're worried about divorce, they just can't find a person worth marrying. It is called a "pre-nuptial agreement," they've very common, and it solves all those issues.

And we all know how pre-nups can be tossed aside. Point is don't tell me that since people have been losing 50% of their assets in divorces for ages, that's the way we should keep things. Divorce laws need to be revamped completely, and need to be more fair.

What is fair? You've already admitted you have no way of quantifying the value a non-working partner provides for a marriage. It's impossible. All we know is that there IS value. Your idea of fair seems to be "lets assign an arbitrary value that satisfies my desire to see the person I view as the breadwinner coming out ahead."

And also, it is extraordinarily difficult to "toss aside" a pre-nup. We don't "all know" this. We have your word for it, so I'll thank you to keep that nonsense out of it. Effectively the only ways to throw out a pre-nup is if they're in violation of the law or public policy. As in... you can't give a spouse a pre-nup a day before the wedding and expect it to hold up in court. You can't fraudulently induce someone into signing a pre-nup ("I'll throw it out after we're married five years!").

As your opinion on this matter seems sadly uninformed, I suggest you do 90 seconds worth of reading on the subject before coming back to argue the point. I know it supports your argument above to make the impression that divorce courts have gone totally rogue and are just looking to unfairly enrich the non-working spouse, but that isn't how it works at all, however much that may undermine your larger argument.

From a legal and "fairness" perspective, Mackenzie Bezos "deserves" half of Jeff Bezos' fortune for the simple reason that she entered into a contractual partnership with Jeff which stipulated, effectively, that she got half the marital estate upon divorce. It's that simple. Your argument is that her "trajectory" when she married Jeff is an obvious straw man wasn't to be worth $70b, because his "trajectory" at that time wasn't to be worth billions, either. Many other factors came into play, not least of which is his marriage to Mackenzie Bezos.

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Jan 16, 2019
Ozymandia:

Would she have made 70 billion? Unlikely but not impossible. Would Jeff Bezos be where he is today without her support? Unquestionably no. He might even be more successful, of course, but the point is that whatever he's built has been done with some amount of input from her.

Holyfck. As Kirk Lazarus said... you never go full retard...

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Jan 16, 2019

+1 SB buddy .... that was toxic

thots and prayers

Jan 16, 2019
Ozymandia]
[quote=2and20:

And again, he knew all this going in, so I'm not sure why it's a question of "deserves" or not. As far as any of us should be concerned, it's a question of contractual obligation. The marriage is the contract and 50% of the marital assets is the poison pill for dissolving it.

Ozy at it again with stupid comments. If you deserve something, you are worthy of something. So as far as we are concerned it is a question whether she deserves it because contractual obligation will be settled by the court.

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Jan 16, 2019
ResearchLackey19:

Ozy at it again with stupid comments. If you deserve something, you are worthy of something. So as far as we are concerned it is a question whether she deserves it because contractual obligation will be settled by the court.

What does your comment have to do with anything? Whether you deserve something and whether your worthy of it are two completely separate issues. If you sign a contract which stipulates that you get 50% of the assets on the dissolution of the partnership, you deserve to have that contract respected. It doesn't mean your "worthy" of what you are getting. If Mrs Bezos was a habitual adulteress, or had been sitting on her ass for the length of the marriage, she wouldn't be "worthy" of getting half of Jeff Bezos' fortune, whatever it is she may "deserve".

In the current context, one term relates to the technical aspects of divorce law, and the other to the relative contributions each partner made to the marital estate.

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Jan 10, 2019

AFAIK they are splitting family wealth. She would not get 50% of Jeff's Amazon shares and therefore also a controlling interest in the company.

And it may be BS for PR reasons but it seams like an amicable divorce, they posted a picture saying something along the lines of "If we knew our journey together would end in 25 years when we first met, we'd do it all again in a heartbeat".

At the end of the day, assuming she doesn't just get re-married / blow the cash... odds are it will mostly stay in the family / go to the kids either way, and it's not like an ex hedge fund employee is going to squander 70BB

Jan 10, 2019

Never believe the media.

People aren't out here trying to make themselves look worse.

Jan 10, 2019

Yeah that's why I prefaced with stating it might be BS for PR. Seems that is the case, saw the article linked down in the thread about how he cheated on his wife with a FRIEND's wife... Surprised his Ex-Wife isn't enraged and out to get as much as possible.

Jan 9, 2019

50% makes no sense in this case whatsoever.... Bezos was the sole mastermind behind Amazon.
Don't @ me for this. Does she deserve some sort of compensation? yes, but not close to $70 billion. Keep in mind she has a degree in english. No way that while she was doing BO/MO type work under Bezos at DE Shaw, she had a close to 70 billion career trajectory.
Even if she gets $1B, its still not fair as she had 0 shot at making that kind of money.

thots and prayers

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Jan 10, 2019

It's really hard to find a wife that's willing to take put everything aside and be genuinely supportive of what you do when you're an "all in yolo" entrepreneur like Bezos. It makes a big difference when you know you can rely on someone to deal with family stuff while you're working on your company. A lot of the entrepreneurship game is mental shit eating.

Food for thought, idk.

Jan 10, 2019

Fair point. Still $70B is a heck of a lot of money for moral/family support....
It would be more fair to see what a person with an english degree working a BO/MO type role at DE Shaw makes in a lifetime, and use that as a baseline to compensate her. The whole point here is that she gave up everything she could've done on her own to support Jeff. So they should just calculate what someone with her credentials and her career trajectory makes and that should be the settlement. It shouldn't be more than a couple million dollars.

thots and prayers

Jan 9, 2019
ResearchLackey19:

Bezos got divorced. Apparently his wife has the right to half his assets. Would like to hear some opinions on this.

His wife was with him before he was rich, so no. She's basically his "partner in crime" (to quote every terrible Match.com profile). Bezos' mistake was to get married in the first place.

Jan 16, 2019

Damn, dude.. You're on Match.com? How's that working for you?

Jan 10, 2019

I love that Bezos posted a twitter message that makes them look like neither is human.

Jan 10, 2019

They were married for 25 years and she clearly put aside her career for Jeff so he could double down and succeed.

It's not like she got married and immediately filed for divorce...

Jan 10, 2019

A lot of misconception around what a prenup does.

It protects someone's assets prior to marriage. Any assets created, generated etc after the marriage are not protected.

In the UK a prenup isn't even legally binding its seen more as an indication which especially after a long term marriage is easily invalidated.

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Jan 10, 2019
TradeGreek:

A lot of misconception around what a prenup does.

It protects someone's assets prior to marriage. Any assets created, generated etc after the marriage are not protected.

In the UK a prenup isn't even legally binding its seen more as an indication which especially after a long term marriage is easily invalidated.

Unless we are talking about the Massey prenup......

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

Jan 10, 2019

Important point here. His next wife certainly won't be eligible for the payout his first wife will get.

It is interesting to think about how premarital income potential can't really be protected by a prenup. As far as I understand, a Doctor who just finished paying off his med school loans can't do anything to protect the time investment made before the marriage. He and a Starbucks barista both bring the same "assets" to the marriage, and his income is then treated as part of the marriage.

Jan 10, 2019

She won't get half. They'll settle and she'll get like $10 billion. Which is obviously more than enough.

Jan 10, 2019

Update: Bezos cheated on his wife with her friend.

Jan 10, 2019
ResearchLackey19:

Update: Bezos cheated on his wife with her friend.

Did he cheat? I also read that after both he and he wife and their family friends both separated he got together with his friend's wife.

Jan 10, 2019

Yea, its a pretty big story. Apparently she is a Pulitzer winning 49 years old ex anchor. Bezos on a different level from Dorsey and Snap CEO.
https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/jef...

Jan 10, 2019

That women is quite literally the definition of hypergamy.

Jan 10, 2019
justphresh:

That women is quite literally the definition of hypergamy.

She played the game well. Lowly football player -->> Middle Market CEO -->> literally the richest and most powerful man in the world. Hats off to a topnotch player. Bitch is cutthroat.

Jan 10, 2019

Well, in that case, I'm ok with her getting $60B

Jan 10, 2019

still too much

thots and prayers

Jan 10, 2019

I can't understand what it's like to be 48, a woman and mother, divorcing a fucking gazillionaire. You telling me she really got options like that? LMAO. There must be a ton of hot 22 year old, ripped pool boys to fish around her pond to make this worthwhile. Got damn, to be 48 and a divorcee to a billionaire. Life must be good.

Jan 10, 2019

Agreed. Even if she "only" got $10bn, she could pay 1,000 dudes $1mn each to "hangout" with her and still have $9bn left.

Jan 10, 2019

At the end of they day, you can't base divorce law on how it affects the richest man in the world (or other rich dudes- Jack Welch, Steve Winn, Tiger, Trump). A lot of divorce law is dumb, mainly because it's old and outdated. However, the law has to protect everyone, and better to screw the rich than the poor (though usually it's the other way). You have to realize that there are couples in middle America, where the wife literally has no skills, three kids and lives in the standard ~1960s family set up (husband works, wife is a housewife). When this couple gets divorced, can't just throw the mom to the curb because the husband makes all the money.

Divorce law can get dumb and crazy though. I remember in NJ a couple of years ago, a guy had to go to jail because he couldn't pay his alimony/child support. Problem was, his payments were based on an average of the prior ~4 years of income, an income level he was no longer at. Guy has to pay like $100 grand all, yet grossed like $90 grand.

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Jan 10, 2019
Jan 10, 2019
Jan 16, 2019