High profile divorces make for great headline fodder, but when one of the wealthiest couples in the world announce they are divorcing, discussions around the couple can really heat up. Last week, Jeff Bezos, the founder of retail giant Amazon, announced he and his wife MacKenzie were divorcing after 25 years of marriage.
The couple announced their divorce through a joint statement on Jeff’s Twitter account, writing “We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends. We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again. We’ve had such a great life together as a married couple, and we also see wonderful times ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursing ventures and adventures. Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends.”
Of course, when an extremely wealthy couple splits, it’s natural for people to wonder how their assets will be divided. In this case, the Bezos are worth somewhere around $137 billion, with most of that being tied up in Jeff’s 79 million shares of Amazon stock, which according to the CBC translates to 16% of the company. In addition to Amazon, Bezos also owns Blue Origin (a rocket ship maker) and the Washington Post newspaper.
It is now known yet how much of a claim MacKenzie, a novelist, has to the coupe’s fortune. Details about whether or not they had a prenuptial agreement will only come to light if their divorce documents are made public.
A lawyer from the Seattle firm McKinley Irvin told the CBC that “The property acquired during the marriage is common property,” and that this includes stock ownership.
The Bezos got together prior to the start of Amazon, with MacKenzie has stating she was in the driving with Jeff across the country when Jeff wrote the company’s initial business plan. She also helped run the company in its early days when it operated out of a garage. When reviewing a book about Amazon on its website, MacKenzie wrote “I was there when he wrote the business plan, and I worked with him and many others represented in the converted garage, the basement warehouse closet, the barbecue-scented offices, the Christmas-rush distribution centres, and the door-desk filled conference rooms in the early years of Amazon’s history.”
Of course, Amazon has come a long way from its scrappy early days and is now one of the world’s most powerful companies.
We will be sure to keep our readers updated if there are any developments in this story.
At Gelman & Associates, we help families of all types, including business owners and entrepreneurs, through all types of family law issues, including separation, divorce, and prenuptial agreements. our diverse group of experienced divorce lawyers strives to provide clients with the information they require to make educated decisions. In order to be accessible to clients and prospective clients, our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM. Call us at (844) 769-0737 or 1-844-769-0737 or contact us online for an initial consultation.