Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos file for divorce

News of Jeff and MacKenzie’s split ricocheted around the internet last January. Worth an estimated $137 billion, the world’s richest couple split up after 25 years of marriage. To the surprise of many, there was no prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The couple’s home state of Washington dictates that marital assets are divided 50-50 under the community law rule, so MacKenzie stood to get half of the Amazon CEO’s stock, ownership of the Washington Post as well as land and other assets.

The settlement

The couple has been very amicable in all their public statements about each other, and the filing for divorce continues that trend. The estate is extremely complex, but the agreement is not 50-50. According to Forbes, a few highlights involving the division of assets include:

  • Jeff will retain ownership of the Washington Post and Blue Origin.
  • Jeff will transfer 25 percent of his Amazon shares to MacKenzie but will maintain voting control over her shares unless she sells them on the open market or gives them to a qualifying non-profit.
  • That 4 percent stake in Amazon is worth an estimated $35 billion, making MacKenzie the third richest woman in the world.

A model of harmony and efficiency

The MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos have challenged Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin for the most amicable high-profile divorce in recent memory. The only hiccup was when Bezos’s phone was hacked so that sexts with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez were made public, but each of them has been unflaggingly gracious. This may be because of the money involved, the high-profile nature of the divorce or the chemistry of the former couple’s relationship. Nevertheless, the couple took the high road.

Even in cases where the split is amicable, it is still advisable for the couple to each consult with a knowledgeable attorney, particularly when the divorce involves a business or a large number of assets. This can ensure that both parties individual and parental rights are protected.

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