In case you didn’t hear, the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos divorced his wife MacKenzie Tuttle Bezos.
Bezos, the owner of Amazon, is worth $137 billion. And now, with him and his partner calling it quits, Bezos might have to say bye bye to his status as the world’s richest citizen. This is because the Washington-based Bezos is subject to a law that states that he must give 50% of his net worth to his ex-wife.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) January 9, 2019
No Pre-Nuptial Agreement was Signed
According to TMZ, the ex-couple did not sign any pre-nup when they got married 25 years ago. In the absence of it, MacKenzie is entitled to half of Bezos earnings.
The law regarding the distribution of assets and property in Washington between a divorced pair is clear.
Here’s how The Daily Beast put it:
Divorces there are only granted based on “irretrievable breakdown” and considered “no fault,” as demanded by the Washington State Constitution. That means all assets and property not inherited or gifted to one spouse by name are considered “communal property” owned by both spouses and, as such, have to be divided equally.
Why Makenzie will end up getting $70 Billion?
This is where it gets interesting. Bezos says that there is no bad blood between the two, and that things are “super amicable.” This means that their dissolution of marriage was consensual, and they may very much be filing for divorce in Washington State.
The challenge for accountants and lawyers however, could be difficult – how to divide Bezos’ portfolio in half?
Here’s everything Jeff and MacKenzie, an Amazon employee as well, own:
- The couple owns 5 homes jointly – in Medina, Washington; Beverly Hills; Van Horn, Texas; Washington, D.C., and Manhattan.
- Jeff owns 16.2% of Amazon’s shares, which translate to $130.7 billion as per Wall Street Journal right now.
Splitting those shares means Jeff could lose a controlling stake in Amazon. The news will obviously lead to a massive drop in its share price, rendering Jeff’s net worth as ‘spartan’.
A lot of lawyers will have sleepless nights trying to figure out how to divide these shares as per law between the ex-couple.
About Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos
The two first met at work in 1992. Jeff met tuttle when he worked at a New York-based hedge fund D. E. Shaw. He ended up hiring her for a job, which Mackenzie only accepted because she had bills to pay and dreamt of becoming a novelist. Perhaps now she has quite the story to pursue her literary ventures?
One year later, Jeff founded Amazon and she moved in with him as an accountant at the company. She was also one of the first employees hired at Amazon.
Tuttle says it was just her luck that she ended up getting married to Jeff. She told Vogue in 2013:
“I am definitely a lottery winner of a certain kind. And it makes my life wonderful in many ways, but that’s not the lottery I feel defined by.”
Jeff fell for her because he saw how “resourceful, smart, brainy, and hot “she was.
Is this the end for Jeff Bezos relationship?
Far from it. Many outlets are already reporting that after the trial separation between the two, Bezos, 54, is already seeing Lauren Sanchez, the 49-year-old host of Good Day L.A.
For the moment, Bezos is optimistic about the whole thing.