There's certainly something to be said for believing in the possibility of finding love again after your Washington state divorce, but second divorces are much more common than you might expect. Statistics show that approximately 50% percent of first-time marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. However, the divorce rate jumps to 67% for second marriages.
Although financial problems are a common source of tension in marriages, even high-net-worth couples aren't immune to relationship difficulties. On September 26, 2022, novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott filed a petition for divorce in Washington state's King County Superior Court. The 52-year-old is seeking a divorce from high school science teacher Dan Jewett after less than two years of marriage.
Scott was married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos from 1993 to 2019. They have four children together. She received $35.6 billion in Amazon stock as part of their community property divorce settlement—making her one of the richest women in the world with a net worth of $28.9 billion as of September 2022.
Jewett is not contesting the divorce. The couple has negotiated the division of property in a contract that has not been made public. It is unknown if they had a prenuptial agreement in place.
The pending divorce is not expected to change Scott's commitment to philanthropy, as she has previously stated that she intends to give away her entire fortune to various charitable causes. On her Giving Pledge profile, she writes, "We each come by the gifts we have to offer by an infinite series of influences and lucky breaks we can never fully understand. In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share."
Preparing for a Second Divorce Is Key Regardless of Your Financial Status
A second divorce can present unique challenges, including a revaluation of your future plans and custody issues when stepparents wish to maintain a relationship with their stepchildren. Your plans may be further complicated by high assets or a significant disparity in income between spouses. Following the best practices for managing your property during your marriage and creating a prenuptial agreement can help you avoid many complications, but an attorney can still help you protect your legal rights if you failed to take these precautionary measures.
As you're preparing for a second divorce, we recommend the following:
- Communicate openly and honestly with your attorney. You should feel comfortable discussing all aspects of your divorce with your attorney, including any fears or concerns you may have. This will help your attorney understand your objectives and also give them the information they need to provide the best possible representation.
- Be prepared for emotionally charged conversations. Divorce can be an emotionally charged process, so it's important to be prepared for conversations that may be heated or difficult. You may want to avoid communicating with your ex directly during this time and let your divorce attorney handle all communications on your behalf.
- Don't make any major life decisions until after the divorce is finalized. During a divorce, it's common to feel like you need to make a fresh start by moving to a new city or changing careers. However, it's important not to make any major life decisions until after the divorce is finalized. Once everything is official, you'll be in a better position to make decisions about your future without the emotional turmoil of the divorce weighing on you.
Our Bellevue Family Law Attorneys Are Here to Help
At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, we can help you separate from your spouse in a way that best protects your assets and allows you to face the future with confidence. Our case results demonstrate how our skilled legal team has been able to provide clients from the greater Seattle area with the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they deserve as they work towards determining the next chapter of their lives. Call (425) 460-0550 today or use our online contact form to arrange a private consultation.