MacKenzie Bezos, the wife of Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, is expected to become the richest woman in the world when the couple will divorced officially after 25 years of marriage, according to legal experts.
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, aged 54 and 48 respectively, Wednesday publicly announced their separation. The next step for the pair, if it has not already started the process, will be to divide the estimated $ 137 billion worth of technical lead. However, a difficult affair is further complicated by reports that the duo, who married in 1993 after only six months of dating, did not have a prenuptial agreement.
Washington – where Amazon was incorporated and where it is widely speculated that parents of four children will file their papers for divorce – is known as a "community-owned property." This means that all assets or debts accumulated by a couple during their marriage are shared in a "fair and equitable" manner. For the Bezos family, this includes Amazon, which Jeff Bezos founded in 1994 with the help of his future wife.
"While we simply do not know that there are any factors that could affect the decision-making process, it is highly likely that each of them will end up with a property valued at around 50% of the entire estate," he said. Mark Weiss, based in Washington. lawyer and family law mediator, said Thursday by email to the Washington Examiner. "They will probably also remain business partners in several investments / businesses."
An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately respond to the comment request.
An almost equal division of the family's wealth would leave MacKenzie Bezos with $ 68.5 billion. This places the novelist at the top of the list of the richest women, according to Forbes. In 2018, the magazine handed Alice Walton, Walmart's 69-year-old heiress, $ 46 billion. In addition, Jeff Bezos would lose first place in the annual ranking.
But Weiss warned that the extreme wealth of the pair could force them to show "creativity" in their divorce deal, especially because Washington – unlike California – does not insist on redistribution at 50/50.
Rick Jones, founder and managing partner of Goldberg Jones, and Janet George of McKinley Irvin Family Law have acquiesced.
"The problem is that if he sells or delivers half of his shares, he will dilute his control over Amazon and the market value of their two holdings will be reduced," Jones said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. "She will get hers, but she must also preserve the value of her assets so she can get a return on her investments."
Jones predicted that the couple would have "by far" one of the most expensive divorces in the history of the United States, which will include its vast real estate portfolio and the cash it has.
"That will make divorces like Steve Wynn jump out of $ 1 billion out of the water," he said of the second split of the casino mogul with his ex-wife Elaine in 2010.
George added, however, that if the Bezos family were to go to court, Washington's legal system protected businesses as much as possible.
"I do not expect them to go to court," said George, citing Greg McCaw's separation from McCaw Cellular in 1997 and his wife Wendy at the time. "There are so many options that they can presumably accept before a trial, the facts will evolve each day."