Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon and the world’s richest person, has announced that he is separating from his wife, MacKenzie Bezos. The two have been married for 25 years and have four children and the announcement of their divorce came via Twitter. The 54-year-old Bezos’ separation from his wife could lead to him losing his title as the world’s richest person. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos has a net worth equivalent to $137 billion and might have to part with half of that value when he divorces his wife.
Bezos announced his divorce from MacKenzie on Wednesday when he tweeted that they have decided to divorce. “If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again,” Jeff wrote in the joint statement. Bezos, who founded Amazon, also owns the Washington Post and Blue Origin rocket company. His divorce from MacKenzie could end up becoming the costliest divorce of all time. The law in Washington State, where Jeff and MacKenzie live, states that the spouses will have to equitably divide “community property”.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) January 9, 2019
This means Jeff will have to equitably divide all the income earned during their marriage. It is important to note that MacKenzie was among the first person to join Amazon beside Jeff when he started the company in late 1994. Bezos has repeatedly said during conferences how MacKenzie would help him pack books, the primary product sold by the company when it started operations as an online bookstore.
“It seems very likely, if not 100 percent a certainty, that whatever Jeff Bezos has earned at Amazon has been community income,” David Starks, a partner at the Seattle-based law firm McKinley Irvin, told Forbes. At the time of writing, it is not known whether the Bezos have signed any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, which could decide how the assets are divided when they officially get the divorce.
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If MacKenzie Bezos gets 50 percent of the equity from the divorce then she could become the fifth richest person in the world. The divorce could lead to both the Bezos being valued at $68 billion each and will result in the largest divorce settlement in history. We will likely hear more about how Bezos plans to settle in the coming days. “Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends,” they added.