Divorce is relatively common these days. People usually marry with the best of intentions, fully believing in their marriage lasting a lifetime, but that is, sadly, not reality for many people here in Florida and around the country. The issue can become even more complex when the couple in question has amassed a great deal of wealth during the marriage. Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of e-commerce giant, Amazon, recently announced the end of his marriage, and the high-asset divorce that will likely follow may be one of the largest divorce settlements in history.
Bezos and his wife, Mackenzie Bezos decided to divorce after a trial separation, announcing their intention on social media. The pair were married for 25 years, and the wedding took place before Amazon was founded. Bezos is one of the world’s wealthiest people, with his net worth estimated around $137 billion. Nearly $80 million of that is in Amazon stock, and the couple owns multiple high-end properties. She is a novelist and the two have four children together.
The state they married in, Washington, is a community property state, meaning that the marital assets are considered owned equally by each spouse. Florida is an equitable distribution state, meaning that marital assets would be divided fairly but not necessarily equally, depending upon a number of factors involved. For example, a judge could rule that Jeff is entitled to 60 percent of the marital property and Mackenzie Bezos 40 percent, based upon his greater participation in running Amazon. Mackenzie says that she helped run the company in its infancy, so in Florida she’s likely argue that she helped them amass the fortune they now have and is thus entitled to an equal share. It’s been speculated that the Bezos’ will settle their divorce out of court to avoid any ill effects to Amazon’s stock.
Apparently, the Bezos did not have a prenup, or a postnuptial agreement. Though their divorce will not be filed here in Florida, people here considering divorce who have a great deal of assets will want to turn to an experienced divorce attorney to handle their high-asset divorce. This may be the best way to ensure that the fairest result possible will be reached.