The world's richest couple, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie, are to divorce in the United States after a 25 year marriage.

Unusually for such a high profile pair, it appears that this is an amicable split. Their joint announcement on Twitter yesterday concluded "Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends." The couple even see "wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures." Laudable though these sentiments may be how can separating couples in Scotland ensure that they do remain on such good terms during the separation process and beyond divorce?

In Scotland there are various methods of dispute resolution available to couples who wish to adopt an amicable approach and ensure the most favourable outcome for the whole family. The most common of these are Collaborative Family Law and Family Law Mediation.

Collaborative practice is a process which originates from the US and has gained popularity here, particularly in the North East. The statement made by Mr and Mrs Bezos appears to encapsulate the spirit of Collaborative practice in Scotland. It is a process which is particularly well suited to couples with young families (Mr and Mrs Bezos have three sons and an adopted daughter) and those with complex financial arrangements (in addition to his stake in Amazon and his other business interests, the Bezoses own numerous properties across the US). It also allows parties to adopt an innovative, flexible approach and to craft a bespoke agreement. The parties have a vested interest in agreeing a settlement which will work for the whole family.

Family Law Mediation is also worth considering for those who wish to preserve a good relationship with their spouse beyond divorce. Like Collaborative practice, Family Law Mediation puts the couple in control of the decisions about dividing their finances and about any children and parenting issues.

For Collaborative Family Law and Family Law Mediation to work to best effect, honesty, integrity and respect are key. If you would like more information about these methods of dispute resolution, please contact me on 01224 392533 or 


Lydia McLachlan

Senior Associate