Jeff Bezos and the Billion Dollar Divorce

Posted by on 01.14.2019 in Posts | Comments Off on Jeff Bezos and the Billion Dollar Divorce

Jeff Bezos and the Billion Dollar Divorce

By Donna Marcus, Associate in the Weber Gallagher Family Law Group

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Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and his wife, MacKkenzie have decided to divorce after 25 years of marriage.  Bezos founded Amazon about a year after the couple wed.  MacKenzie is successful in her own right as a novelist.  Her financial success pales in comparison to that of her husband, though, who is reportedly worth $137 billion.  Bezos is also the majority shareholder of Amazon holding 16% of the shares.

The couple is from Washington which is a community property state.  That means that without a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the assets created during the marriage could be split equally between Bezos and his wife.  It is reported that the couple did not have either a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Since most of Bezos’ wealth is tied up in Amazon stock, he may need to transfer shares of his stock to his wife in order to pay her divorce settlement.  That could diminish his ownership interest and overall role with Amazon.  The Bezos divorce is just at the beginning.  How much MacKenzie Bezos will receive as her settlement and how the assets will be divided are still up in the air. One thing remains clear, though; if MacKenzie Bezos does receive 50 percent of the estate, she will walk away with over $60 billion based on the company’s current value and would become one of the richest people in the world.