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 (53)

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

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 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

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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 9, 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 9, 2019
TheDebtStar:

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

Haven't been on Match for years. More of a broader comment on women's dating profiles, which are universally awful.

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 9, 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

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

Jan 9, 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

Yes, when me can't support a child they go to jail, when women can't support a child they are put up in goverment housing for free and given a stipend. Seems fair....I think the best thing for the child would be to have Carl's Jr. take custody.

Jan 10, 2019

Last 6 months for Bezos:
Stock dropped roughly 20%
Then his wife took half of his assets.

Jan 16, 2019

It would seem that his failure to get a prenup violates his "regret minimization framework".

Jan 21, 2019

For finance forums, its's funny that so many of you think it's fair to calculate her entitlement on the basis of opportunity cost or value added. Do you think his wealth is a product of that? Of course not, at least not entirely; it's a matter of risk and return distribution.

For anyone, starting a business is low expected return and high risk. The gravey is in the skew. His skill moves the curve left or right, but the overall shape is unchanged. And even if he has a good shot at succeeding because of skill/connections/etc, his opportunity cost is always higher (i. e. it's relative). Whilst this return distribution has made him extremely wealthy, he didn't take these risks alone. His household's wealth was tied to this investment; she was as much a party to it as him.

Imagine if this wasn't true, and it happened on a value add basis. She takes these big risks, and in the event of separation, receives no reward? Does that really seem fair?

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