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Why Extreme Wealth Might Complicate Jeff & MacKenzie Bezos' Divorce Proceedings

If you haven’t heard by now, the world’s wealthiest man is filing for divorce. Amazon CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, announced that he and his wife MacKenzie would be ending their 25 year marriage. Now that the couple has decided to call it quits, the big question is how Bezos’ wealth will complicate their divorce proceedings. In this blog, we explain some of the ways high asset divorces are more complicated than average divorces.

Community Property

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos filed for their divorce in the state of Washington, which is one of the few community property states similar to Nevada. What this means is that unless they have other specifications written out in a prenuptial agreement, both spouses will generally be entitled to an equal portion of their community property.

Assets and debts the couple have accumulated throughout their marriage are presumed to be community property. This can include things like:

  • Real Estate
  • Stock & Bond Portfolios
  • Patents
  • Wages & Income
  • Intellectual Property
  • Royalties
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Business Ownership Interests
  • Checking & Savings Accounts

Property that doesn’t qualify as community property is classified as separate property. These are generally assets each spouse owned before they got married.

It is important to note that equal isn’t the same as equitable when it comes to distributing community property in a divorce case.

Unwinding a 25 year marriage is complicated under any circumstance, requiring all assets of the parties to be valued, identified as either separate or community property, and divided in a manner that protects each party and allows them to live their lives separately following divorce. Unwinding a 25 year marriage between the richest couple in history will be a monumental task as the sheer volume of assets, as well as the undoubtedly complicated nature of those assets, will be extremely difficult and time consuming to identify, value, and divide. This all assumes that neither party is hiding assets or has committed marital waste, which only further complicates the matter.

Because many of Jeff Bezos’ assets aren’t liquid, dividing property in his case will be a challenge. Bezos has 16% ownership interest in Amazon, the Washington Post, and Blue Origin. Each of these companies was acquired by Bezos after he married his wife, which means she has a legitimate shot at ending up with ownership interest in each of these companies after the divorce is finalized. Also, as Benzos only owns a portion of these major companies, the division of his interest in them is subject to the agreements he has with the other owners.

High Asset Divorce Lawyers in Reno

Are you going through a high asset divorce? Are you worried your ex will end up with more of your property than they are entitled to? If so, you should get in touch with our legal professionals at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. to discuss the details of your case. We can build a strong legal strategy that will protect all of your rights and interests. Contact us today.

Call (775) 227-2280 to schedule your appointment with a family law attorney in Reno. Don’t hesitate, give us a call today.

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