The Billion Dollar Question

$137 Billion to be precise.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, the commerce goliath that sells everything under the sun, and his wife MacKenzie announced that they will end their 25-year marriage. Bezos is the richest man in the world; $1.7 million to Jeff Bezos is the same as $1 to the average person. “Richie Rich” money. In addition to Amazon, Bezos owns the Washington Post; Blue Origin, a rocket company; and Whole Foods, just to name a few. Bezos possesses more wealth than Rupert Murdoch, Mark Cuban and Mark Zuckerberg combined. The amount of money that Bezos owns is difficult to wrap your head around.

The couple met while working at a New York hedge fund shortly after graduating from Princeton. They were quickly engaged, and married within 6 months of meeting.

The Bezos’ announced their divorce plans via Twitter last week. Interestingly, both Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos stated that, even if they knew that their union would end after 25 years, they would still do it all over again. The couple is parting ways while remaining “cherished friends,” and has 4 children. Things appear amicable, so far.

It is unclear if the couple has a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement. The Bezos’ primary residence is in Washington, a community property state. As such, any assets or debts acquired during the marriage will be divided on a 50/50 basis. Therefore, Mrs. Bezos stands to become the richest woman in the world after receiving her portion of the marital proceeds.

Perhaps the Bezos’ have already reached an agreement. If they have, the agreement will likely be kept private, as any details of the division of assets could affect Amazon’s stock price, which is currently selling at approximately $1600 per share.

Due to the massive amount of money involved, this divorce is, obviously, exceptional. It will be interesting to see how it plays (pays?) out.

Scott Bonebrake is a general practitioner in Media, PA, and has been a licensed attorney for 24 years. Please feel free to contact Scott if you have any legal questions, including family law questions regarding divorce, legal separation, child custody and support, and alimony. You can reach Scott at 610-892-7700, or at sbonebrake@noelandbonebrake.com.