America is a land of entrepreneurs. Small businesses are funded almost every day in Texas. Many of these businesses are created by married couples who become the business owners. Some of these businesses fail, and some go on to succeed, sometimes spectacularly. This is the case for Amazon, which was founded by Jeff Bezos and his wife Mackenzie who are now involved in a business owner divorce.
Had Jeff and Mackenzie signed a prenuptial agreement, outlining how future property might be handled in a divorce, the present situation would be vastly different. It is believed that they did not sign such an agreement, and indeed, the idea for Amazon did not happen until after the marriage. This means that Bezos’ stock in Amazon, a controlling share amounting to more than 80 million shares, can be deemed community property and subject to an even split in a divorce case.
There are a couple of possible solutions in a case such as this. One option is a buyout where one spouse buys the other partner’s share of the stock. This could be done using other assets such as retirement accounts, real estate and other assets. The other option is something called co-ownership. The stock itself would be transferred to one partner, and the voting rights would reside with the other partner.
A divorce involving business owners can be complex and delicate. Care must be taken in order to retain the value and viability of the company in Texas. An attorney experienced in dealing with such cases can provide valuable guidance and support to arrive at a fair settlement that is in everyone’s best interest.