Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, recently finalized their divorce, and the billionaires seem to have left behind a valuable lesson for the rest of us: how to keep a high-asset divorce amicable and on track.
And even though none of us have their money - Mr. Bezos is the richest man in the world - their divorce is a blueprint for how to end a marriage the right way. In fact, a Florida couple in any economic category can follow their example.
- They let everyone see they still respected each other, as they revealed in their joint Twitter statement when they vowed to go on with their "shared lives as friends." They didn't engage in a social media war, saying bad things about each other, making kids, extended family and friends choose sides. Airing dirty laundry in public doesn't do anyone any good.
- The tabloids jumped all over the Bezos divorce announcement, and while your friends won't be reading about divorce in the grocery aisles, you still could run into some roadblocks. Surround yourself with a good support system to help you through the tough times.
- Like the Bezos, you'll need a good professional team on your side to help you with not only legal issues but financial and emotional ones, too. In the Bezos' case, they had considerable assets, stock voting rights and such to divide. Your assets aren't in the billions, but they are still significant: your home, your retirement accounts, your stock portfolio. At a minimum, your team should include your divorce attorney, a certified financial analyst who handles divorces, and a divorce coach or a therapist.
- Try to focus on the future rather than the current. It's tough, but if you can get past the hurt you are feeling at the moment and envision yourself a year from now, past all of this, you will be much better off. Taking that tactic will help you to have a friendlier divorce.
Divorce is painful, but following these tips can make it less so.