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Cheyenne Family Law Blog

The most expensive divorce ever may be coming soon

Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos, have announced that they are getting divorced. Amazon shareholders in Wyoming and around the world will be watching to see how this enormously wealthy couple's assets will be divided and the impact that division will have on the value and future of the company. As the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos's divorce will likely be one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive, ever.

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos married in 1993, and Jeff founded Amazon soon after in 1994. Since that time, the couple has welcomed four children, and Amazon has become one of the largest companies in the world. Jeff is credited with being the world's richest man with a net worth of over $136 billion. He reportedly owns over 16 percent of Amazon's 477 million shares.

Ways you can ease the complications and stress of your divorce

Before and during a divorce, people often voice concerns about how the terms of their final order could impact their lives. From how child custody will work to adjustments in lifestyle, a divorce will certain bring significant changes to your life. If you are about to initiate this process or you plan to in 2019, it may be beneficial to start preparing for the process ahead. 

You may know that Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and his wife are getting divorced. There are billions of dollars on the line in what could be the most expensive divorce in history, but there are many lessons an average person can learn from their situation. In fact, looking at a high asset divorce such as this one can help you understand how property division works and the expectations you can have for your future.

Can likeliness of divorce be calculated?

At one time, about half of all marriages in the United States ended in divorce. Thanks to the millennials, who like to do things their own way, that number has actually dropped in recent years. Due to several factors, millennials tend to delay marriage until an older age. This practice has contributed to their lower chances of divorce, dropping the divorce rate in Wyoming and nationwide. According to recent studies, there are several factors one can consider to estimate his or her own chances of one day becoming a divorcee.

Where one lives has a significant impact on his or her likeliness of divorce. Traditionally conservative states such as Wyoming have much higher divorce rates. Growing up in one of these states increases one's chance of divorce by a startling 27 percent. Possible explanations for this include Wyomingites' high marriage rates and young average age upon marriage.

Tips for achieving a friendly divorce

Divorce can be an emotionally draining process full of frustration, anger and loneliness. Many Wyoming couples have ended their relationship with such contempt that they no longer can include each other in their lives. This is especially troubling when there are children involved, as they become the innocent victims caught in the crossfire. Divorce doesn't have to be this way: a true friendship can survive divorce. By following some basic tips, a couple can approach their separation with a positive attitude that is productive instead of destructive, leading to a better outcome for the whole family.

Without an understanding of what went wrong with a marriage, it is hard to move forward. The couple should do some honest assessing of both spouses' actions and discuss those that led to the separation without pointing fingers or becoming defensive. Chances are, both spouses are guilty of some wrongdoing, so discussing this openly and honestly will help both examine their own actions and accept some of the responsibility for the failure of the relationship. Once a spouse realizes his or her own contribution, he or she can move forward with the next step, which is to work to correct those mistakes. This will spark personal growth, improved empathy for the other spouse, a more amicable settlement process and a positive example for the children.

What is gray divorce

Everyone in Wyoming knows what a divorce is, but what is a gray divorce? Gray divorce is a term used to refer to the increasing number of divorces for couples of advanced age. When most people hear of a couple going through a divorce, they often think of young or middle-aged couples, but the age group with the fastest growing divorce rate is that of the 50-year-old or older age group. In fact, divorce rates in this age group have doubled in the past 20 years while divorce rates in other age groups have decreased.

There are several factors that are contributing to the increase in gray divorces. The first is the fact that the population is getting older. As the senior population increases, gray divorce increases. The number of seniors is rising, and it is estimated that the population over 65 will increase 188 percent and the population over 85 will increase a startling 351 percent by 2050, compared to 22 percent for other age groups.

Avoiding divorce caused by debt

Most Wyoming couples would agree that finances are a significant part of a marriage. Finances control where a couple lives, what they drive, what they buy and even what they eat. Financial stress is a leading cause of divorce, with one recent study stating that 40 percent of couples who begin a relationship with debt feel their relationship was negatively impacted by that debt. There are some methods that couples can use to get out of debt and minimize the negative impact financial stress has on their relationships.

A key component of any relationship is communication. Both parties must be open and honest about the amount of debt they have and their plans to repay that debt. The Federal Reserve reports that Americans underestimate their level of debt by 25 percent for student loans and 37 percent for credit cards, so verifying debt amounts is imperative for thorough planning. Couples should work together to design a repayment plan. They must also agree on household spending and whether debts will be paid off as a couple or independently.

What if my ex refuses to obey our divorce order?

Understandably, divorce contains conflict. After all, it is typically some conflict that brought an end to the marriage in the first place. The hope of many spouses is to get through the divorce with a satisfying court order and move on with their separate lives. Unfortunately, when one spouse carries the battle beyond the final decree, the other spouse may have no choice but to bring the matter back to court.

If your former spouse continues to fight you by refusing to comply with any order in your divorce decree, he or she may be in contempt of court. You have some decisions to make about how you want to proceed.

Making the holidays happy for children during divorce

Most people in Wyoming love the holidays and look forward to them all year long. It is a time of happiness, giving, celebration and family. Those times become complicated, however, when a family is divided by divorce. Suddenly, traditions change, and those feelings of comfort and contentment are shaken. While it can easily become a time of emotional challenge, there are some things divorcing parents can do to make the holidays continue to remain a time of happiness for their children…and themselves.

Not all divorced couples hate each other. Many couples, especially those with children, find ways to remain friendly even after their marriage ends. If this is possible, the family can still continue to practice some of the traditions that they have shared over the years. This provides a sense of comfort and familiarity for the children, as well as the adults who have otherwise been experiencing so much change. Care should be taken, however, not to give the children false hope of a reconciliation.

New divorce tax laws change how alimony is calculated

Money is a sensitive subject. It can cause people to behave differently than they normally would and can cause arguments between even the closest of family members and friends. One of the most dreaded parts of a divorce for many couples is coming to an agreement on finances, especially alimony. Some couples currently going through a divorce, however, are working together and making an extra effort to come to an agreement on their financial arrangement before the end of the year. Divorcees in Wyoming and across the country are attempting to get their arrangements finalized before tax laws change in 2019.

Under current laws, alimony is tax-deductible for the spouse who is paying the alimony. That amount is deducted from the payor's income before income tax is calculated. The other spouse, who receives the alimony payment, is the one who claims the alimony as income and pays taxes on it. Under the new laws, that is reversed, and the payor pays income taxes on their full income, and then the alimony is paid to the other party afterward. The payee does not include the alimony as income on his or her taxes.

Making divorce more budget-friendly

Ending a marriage brings with it a myriad of changes to one's life. The financial impact it has can be significant and can affect all aspects of the person's life. It can affect one's housing situation, work load, spending habits and retirement goals. Divorce doesn't have to be financially crippling, however. With careful planning and smart choices, divorce in Wyoming is possible while still maintaining financial stability.

During a marriage, there are usually joint accounts opened up in both spouses' names. These should be closed immediately by both parties. This includes financial accounts such as bank accounts and credit cards as well as other types of accounts, including memberships and social media accounts. For some, the opportunity to use these accounts to hurt the other can be irresistible and can lead to serious financial consequences. It is best to take care of this in the beginning to eliminate the possibility of bad decisions being made later in retaliation.

Zubrod Law Office, P.C.
219 East 18th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82001

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