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Mackenzie Scott and Marjorie Taylor Greene Are Both Getting a Divorce Explain Briefly!
MacKenzie Scott and Marjorie Taylor Greene are both getting a divorce. Their cases are very different in two big ways, but they have one key thing in common. These two divorces show something about relationships and money that has nothing to do with how much money is involved.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, on the left, and MacKenzie Scott, on the right, are both leaving their husbands. First, it was reported that MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and a billionaire philanthropist, was getting a divorce from her second husband, Dan Jewett, an ex-science teacher, after less than two years of marriage.
Then came the news that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s husband, Perry Greene, wanted a divorce after 27 years of marriage. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a Republican from Georgia. Both divorces were filed in states with very different divorce laws, and Scott and Jewett brought billions of dollars into Scott’s life, which the Greenes did not. But Scott and Greene have one important thing in common: they haven’t aired any dirty laundry, and at least in their divorce papers, their splits are still friendly.
In the King County, Washington, Superior Court divorce petition, there is clear mention of a “separation contract” between Scott and Jewett. Forbes says that after Scott’s split from Bezos in 2019, she is now worth $33.9 billion. State law in Washington says that a “separation agreement” can talk about “the disposition of any property owned by both or either” of the spouses.
Washington is one of the few “community property” states where assets bought before marriage is considered separate property and assets bought during the marriage are considered “marital” or “community property.” The divorce papers for MacKenzie Scott were filed in Washington state, while the divorce papers for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene were filed in Georgia. The laws about divorce in these states are very different.
Georgia, where the Greenes filed for divorce, is an “equitable-distribution state,” which means that assets are split fairly, if not equally, based on a number of factors, such as how the spouses behaved during the marriage, their assets and debts, their earning potential, and their retirement needs. Most of the time, assets that were bought before a couple got married are also treated as separate property.
Mr. Greene’s divorce papers don’t say anything about a prenuptial agreement that said what would happen to the couple’s money and debts after they got married. Instead, Mr. Greene’s filing in Floyd County, Ga., Superior Court asks for “a fair and equitable division of the marital assets” and “an equitable division of the marital debts.”
It does not necessarily mean that the Greenes did not have a prenuptial agreement. One Georgia divorce law expert said that if Mr. Greene wanted one to be enforced, he would probably mention it in the divorce petition.” Usually, if you feel pretty good about the prenup you have, you’ll say something about it in the complaint,” said attorney Robert Boyd, founding shareholder of Boyd Collar Nolen Tuggle & Roddenberry, an Atlanta law firm that only does matrimonial law.
The law firm that represents Mr. Greene did not want to say anything. If you take away the divorces, Scott and Greene may not have much in common, especially since they were both filed in different states. But the cases were brought at a time when prenuptial agreements were becoming more common, especially among younger Americans.
Both divorces were filed at a time when prenuptial agreements were becoming more popular, especially among younger Americans. About 15% of married couples say that they had a prenuptial agreement. It’s not surprising that Scott, who is worth billions and wants to do good things for people, has a separate contract that spells out her property and the property of her ex-partner, Dan Jewett, a former school teacher.
But you don’t have to be on the Forbes rich list to pull off such a move these days. A Harris Poll found that 15% of people who were married or getting married said they had signed a prenuptial agreement. In a similar poll done by Harris in 2010, only 3% of people said they had signed one. The most important thing about prenups is that they encourage couples to be honest about their plans and finances.
Even more people like the idea of a document that spells out how to divide assets and keep what you want. The Harris Poll showed that more than four in ten people (42%) agreed that prenuptial agreements should be used. Harris said that was up from 28% in 2002.
The support for prenups is especially clear among younger couples, the survey found. 32% of the unmarried people who took the survey said they were likely to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. However, 52% of the Gen Z people who took the survey and 40% of the millennial people who took the survey said they would sign one.
In his Moneyist column, MarketWatch’s financial advice columnist Quentin Fottrell says, “Marriage is many things, but it’s also a business contract and a promise to spend the rest of your lives together, or at least a sign of willingness to do so.”
“When it comes to prenuptial agreements, there are no hard and fast rules. “It all comes down to what each side thinks is fair,” he says. “The art of a prenup is to find a balance between caring and helpful issues and money issues.” Prenuptial agreements are becoming more common because more people are getting married later in life after they’ve had more time to build careers and collect their own assets while single.
A survey done years ago found that younger couples were looking at marriage contracts. Half of the divorce lawyers surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2016 said that millennial clients were asking for more prenuptial agreements. Boyd told MarketWatch that prenuptial agreements are now more common than they used to be. A few years ago, Boyd’s law firm would put together 10 to 15 prenuptial agreements each year. Now, he said, there are more like two or three prenups a month.
The documents could reveal a complicated mix of love, money, and family, but Boyd said that when clients ask for them, they are becoming less of a source of tension. “Parents often insist on a prenuptial agreement,” he said. Boyd thinks that prenuptial agreements are becoming more common because more people are getting married later in life after they’ve had more time to build careers and save money while they were single.
He also said that when people get married for the second time, many of them don’t want to go through the process of dividing up their assets again. Even though Mr. Greene’s divorce papers say that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which is legal jargon, the Greenes put out statements that were positive.
“Perry and I started a family together, and we raised three great kids. He gave me the best job title there: “Mom.” I’ll always be thankful for what a great father he is to our kids. Rep. Greene said in a statement, “This is a private and personal matter, and I ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.” Mr. Greene said in his own statement, “As we go in different directions, we will continue to focus on our three amazing kids, their future plans, and our friendship.”
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