Couples get divorced all the time without much fuss, but famous divorces often get quite a bit of attention. You have probably heard that the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is divorcing his wife of 25 years, Mackenzie. This divorce is getting a lot of press, considering that a whopping $137 billion is at stake. Because of the significant amount of money involved, there is a lot of speculation as to what will happen to Amazon and Jeff’s fortune in general after the world’s richest couple announced their divorce in early January.
Amazon is based in Washington, where the couple also lives. Washington is a community property state, meaning that assets accrued during the marriage must be split equally. One of those assets was Amazon, the world’s most valuable company. It is unknown if the couple had a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place.
Experts say that without an agreement, Mackenzie could become a shareholder at Amazon. She would receive part of Jeff’s stake in Amazon and could end up drastically changing company operations. However, Jeff has just 16% stake in the company, which means he would need to sell or transfer it. Also, Jeff’s stake in Amazon has declined in recent years as he looks to fund his rocket company, Blue Origin.
The Layout of the “Amazon Divorce”
There are a couple of ways this could go: Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos may split the assets, with each getting $65 billion in Amazon stock. The stock could also be transferred over to a single entity, with both having control. This would make it so there are not two separate shareholders.
Given that there is so much money involved, alimony would likely not play a role. Alimony is given to spouses who need it. Even if Mackenzie receives just $1 billion, that is plenty of money for her to support herself and the couple’s four children. After all, that is more money than most of us will see in a lifetime.
When so much money is involved, there is bound to be drama and conflict. However, in this case, it will be in Mackenzie’s best interest to avoid any type of fight over assets. That is because creating a public spectacle could be detrimental to Amazon’s operations and negatively impact her shareholdings. However, there is still the risk of a messy divorce, given that another woman is purportedly involved.
If Jeff was indeed having an affair during the marriage, it likely would not affect asset distribution unless he used marital assets to fund the affair. Examples would be hotel costs, vacations, and gifts.
Contact a Brooklyn Divorce Lawyer Today
While most divorces do not have this much money at stake, any divorce can still be complex. Many couples accumulate homes, vehicles, and other assets after being married for decades and splitting these possessions can be challenging.
In a divorce, assets are often split 50/50, which can make one party significantly richer and one significantly poorer. Get help from Brooklyn divorce lawyer Theodore Alatsas ESQ. He can help with negotiating a fair settlement. Contact our office to get started. Call (718) 233-2903.