Divorce Attorneys Reveal 3 Things That Make Super-rich Breakups Unique, Even Though What Causes Them Tends to Be the Same
When Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce Monday, many Americans were stunned: How could the billionaire power couple call it quits after 27 years of marriage, three children, and world-dominating business and philanthropic ventures together?
"I think many people were surprised because ... they acted like a team," New York matrimonial attorney Marilyn Chinitz told Insider. "It was hard to see that this team too could be subject to a divorce, and that they weren't immune to it."
Rich people may be more likely than the rest of us to file for divorce in financially tough times
Splitting property can financially devastate the newly divorced, which is in part why "when economic times are bad, most people want to stay together to make sure the assets increase in value," Chinitz said.
That's not necessarily true for the rich and famous.
"For who have money and know that their businesses are going to come back, they'll take advantage of a bad economic downturn and start the divorce action because the value of the assets are going to be significantly lower," she said.
Rather than upending each former partner's lifestyle, the breakup doesn't necessarily change much, relatively, in their daily lives.
"We've seen a lot of cases over the past several years involving super wealthy individuals getting divorced," Chinitz said, like Jeff Bezos and Stephen Ross.
"What these cases have in common is unfathomable wealth, and that will allow both parties and their respective families to move on and continue living a lifestyle no different than what they enjoyed during the marriage," she said. "So it may not have a big impact on them — certainly not financially."
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"Divorce Attorneys Reveal 3 Things That Make Super-rich Breakups Unique, Even Though What Causes Them Tends to Be the Same," by Anna Medaris Miller was published in Insider on May 5, 2021.
This article was featured in Medium on May 31, 2021.