PanaTimes

Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

MacKenzie Scott likely had a prenup with her second husband, legal experts say. Here's what could happen next with her divorce — and how it could affect the billions designated for charity.

MacKenzie Scott likely had a prenup with her second husband, legal experts say. Here's what could happen next with her divorce — and how it could affect the billions designated for charity.

MacKenzie Scott's divorce is unlikely to impact her multibillion-dollar charitable giving, experts say.

Scott filed for divorce from her second husband, Dan Jewett, on Monday. The couple has been married for less than two years and had embarked on a philanthropic mission together, but recently, mentions of Jewett had disappeared from Scott's posts and online profiles. On Wednesday, The New York Times broke the news that they're splitting up.

Scott was previously married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and their divorce left her with a 3% stake in the e-commerce giant, a stake that has made her the world's 40th-richest person.

But legal experts told Insider that Scott's second divorce will likely be vastly different from the first time around and will almost certainly leave the majority of her $28 billion fortune untouched.


'Shocked' if there is no prenuptial agreement


When Scott's divorce from Bezos was finalized in 2019, she walked away with millions of Amazon shares worth, at that time, roughly $38 billion. Though she's been working to offload her immense wealth since then, she still entered the marriage to Jewett with assets that far outpaced most people on the planet, including her second husband.

To that end, it's almost certain that the couple signed a prenuptial agreement, according to Eleanor Alter, a partner at New York law firm Alter, Wolff, & Foley who has handled high-profile divorce cases.

"It's possible they didn't have a prenuptial agreement, but I'd be shocked," she said.

Jennifer Brandt, chair of the family law group at Pennsylvania law firm Cozen O'Connor, agreed: "In most cases when you have high net worth people, they do want to get, and are advised to get, a prenuptial agreement."

Brandt noted that prenups are especially common in cases where someone has been married before or comes into the marriage with significant wealth, which are both factors that apply to Scott.


Couple already agreed to a contract that divides their assets


Though Scott's divorce petition doesn't mention a prenup, it does say that the couple signed a separation agreement, an interim agreement that sets some rules for the period of separation before a couple is divorced. Beyond divvying up a couple's finances, it can include issues like child or spousal support, though neither request was included in the divorce petition.

"It could even dictate use of certain assets or use of properties," Brandt said. "If you have multiple properties, it may dictate where people live or what properties they may be using during an intervening period before the assets are distributed and maybe who pays for them."

Oftentimes, those types of agreements are included in a prenup, according to Alter.

"A lot of prenuptial agreements provide that if you get divorced, this is the separation agreement. So there's no difference, there's nothing to negotiate," she said. "The terms of the prenuptial agreement become the terms of the separation agreement. In a short marriage, that's likely."

While Scott's petition is publicly accessible, the separation agreement is sealed. Terry Price, a family law professor at the University of Washington, told GeekWire that details of that contract "will never see the light of day." Scott and Jewett have not commented publicly on their divorce plans.


The divorce will likely be finalized quickly


Washington, where they live, is a community-property state, meaning that the assets a couple acquires while they're married belong to both of them and therefore will be divided equitably. But if one person comes to the marriage with property of their own, they're not required to split that with their spouse in the event of a divorce, according to state law.

Which means that Scott's wealth — and her plans to donate at least half of it during her lifetime, which she's doing faster than any other living person, according to Puck — likely won't be significantly impacted by the divorce.

Alter pointed out that divorce may affect Scott's tax situation, as married people can give more money away without paying taxes, but given the scale of Scott's donations and the machinery that's likely behind it, it's unclear how her taxes will be affected, if at all.

Either way, the experts agree that Scott and Jewett will likely push for the divorce to become finalized as quickly and quietly as possible. Washington law says that the petition must be filed and served to the other spouse for at least 90 days before a judge will dissolve a marriage. Alter estimated that, given the likelihood of a prenup and the brevity of the marriage, Scott's divorce will take "a few months, at most" to complete.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanaTimes
Close
0:00
0:00
Tennessee Bill Would Imprison People for 3 Years If They 'Lie' About Rape to Get an Abortion.
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will block Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
×