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The couple live in a community property state, which states whatever wealth that was made while they were married could be split equally between the two.
Divorces are messy things, not to mention expensive. Imagine getting a divorce when you’re a biliionaire – things are many times messier.
Such is what Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon and currently the richest man in the world, will have to sift through following his tweet that he and his wife of 25 years MacKenzie have “decided to divorce”.
Jeff, who has a reported net worth of $137 billion, might just have on his hands the most expensive divorce in history, depending on the complexities of marital law and the value of Amazon.
The couple live in Washington state, which is a community property state. That means whatever wealth that was made while they were married could be split equally between the two.
Amazon was founded a year after they were married. What that means is that MacKenzie may just get half – or $66 billion – based on the value of the company today.
Because most of Jeff’s assets are linked to Amazon’s stock, he may have to sell or pledge shares to fund a settlement of this size. Keep in mind that he owns just under 80 million shares of Amazon, or just under 16% of the company.
Good news is that the parting seems amicable, based on the second part of Jeff’s tweet that says “we remain a family and we remain cherished friends”. MacKenzie would probably want the family fortune to grow and not push for a settlement that would require Jeff to sell shares and dilute his control and stake in the company.
Prior to this, the most expensive divorce in the US is that of Steve and Elaine Wynn in 2010, which cost an estimated $1 billion. After them, the divorce of oil tycoon Harold Hamm cost him $974.8 million, which he infamously settled with a single cheque.