When corporate titans divorce their spouses, the fallout can be far-reaching and splayed out in the news media. One only has to look at the situation with Jeff Bezos — founder of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post — and his wife, Mackenzie.
Recent tabloid revelations of Bezos’ extramarital affair with a former co-host of Good Day L.A. preceded the couple’s announcement that they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage and two children. Despite their civil, low-key approach, with as much as $137 billion at stake, their divorce will be a complex undertaking.
Obviously, most divorces won’t raise as many issues as the world’s wealthiest couple’s will. However, that doesn’t mean that well-heeled executives who are divorcing should give short shrift to the process.
If you have a public profile, your goal should be to minimize speculation about your split and its terms. Reaching accord on matters with your soon-to-be ex-spouse can keep many of the details from the prying eyes of the public. While some court records may be approved to be sealed, most will become part of the public record and available for perusal.
When your divorce settlement can affect your business, as Bezos’ might if he has to sell some Amazon stock and risk losing an ownership majority, it’s especially vital to consider each move carefully to minimize any adverse effects on your profit margin.
You should also work closely with your family law attorney. This trusted professional can help guide you through the shoals of divorce and help you emerge unscathed on the other side.