On Monday, the 52-year-old filed a petition for divorce from her husband, Seattle school teacher Dan Jewett, after marrying in California last year.
Despite her wealth, their divorce will likely be “pretty standard and vanilla,” according to a family law attorney David Glass, who viewed the filing, which was submitted to Washington State’s King County Superior Court on Monday.
Court documents did not confirm the presence of a prenuptial agreement between Scott — who was previously married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — and Jewett, who did not contest the divorce, The New York Times noted in its report.
Dan Jewett/FaceBook; Michael Kovac/Getty
However, the former couple agreed on the terms of the separation, including what becomes of the marital property, in a separation contract.
“A separation contract under Washington law is when you say to your spouse, ‘We’re going to get divorced and we can work out all the details ourselves. Let’s write it up in an agreement and we’ll just notify the court that we’ve figured everything out,’ ” says Glass, who does not represent either party. “And so that’s what they did here.”
Washington State law allows divorcing couples to keep a separation agreement “completely private,” Glass adds, noting that in this case, Scott and Jewett appear to already have the terms of their divorce entirely settled.
“They each had their lawyers, they figured out who’s keeping what real estate, who’s keeping what assets. They decided that there wouldn’t be any sort of spousal support, and because they don’t have any children [together], they didn’t have to get into the issue of custody,” he adds. “And so you basically inform the court in Washington State, ‘We have a separation agreement, we don’t need you for anything other than to issue the divorce decree.’ “
Because the state’s laws allow for separation agreements to be kept private, Glass says that “no one will ever know” how exactly Scott and Jewett are separating their assets beyond the couple themselves and their attorneys, unless they choose to disclose that information.
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As Glass tells PEOPLE, page three of Scott’s divorce petition contains a consent form from Jewett agreeing to the filing in its entirety, which Glass says will likely help the divorce process happen quickly and smoothly.
“So he signed off saying, ‘I agree to all this. Please just have [us] divorced,’ ” Glass tells PEOPLE. “So there won’t be any trials, there won’t be any court appearances, and there likely won’t be any other papers filed with the court until the court issues the one piece of paper that says you’re now divorced and you’re each single.”
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Though it appears Scott and Jewett’s divorce is amicable, Glass says, “it’s hard to predict how long the court will take before it issues that divorce decree.”
the giving pledge Dan Jewett and MacKenzie Scott
“They filed this on the 23rd and didn’t get posted until on the website until [Thursday],” Glass tells PEOPLE. “So it’s hard to tell. If both parties agree, there is no waiting period.”
For contrast, Glass notes that California state law says divorcing couples have to wait six months for a divorce decree even under similar circumstances.
Since her divorce from Bezos, Scott has spoken about her goal of giving away vast amounts of her wealth.
Earlier this month, she gifted her Beverly Hills estate, worth $55 million, to support the nonprofit California Community Foundation, and their affordable housing grantmaking and immigrant integration program. In March, Scott donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity.
Previously, the philanthropist donated $2.7 billion to 286 underfunded organizations that fight against wealth inequality. And in December 2020, Scott and a “team of advisors” donated $4.2 billion to organizations across the U.S. that helped with relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the Washington Post reported, Scott and Jewett first met at her children’s school.