Amazon is a household name in Texas and across the country. Many have even heard that the company’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, is going through a landmark high-asset divorce. On July 5, the divorce was finalized by a judge, ending Jeff’s 25-year marriage with his former wife MacKenzie. According to the divorce settlement, MacKenzie Bezos will receive $38.3 billion in Amazon stock, marking 4% of its outstanding shares. Amazon said in April that 19.7 million shares in the company would be registered in her name after the divorce was approved in family court.
The couple made a joint statement on Twitter in January 2019 to announce their intention to divorce. Some were concerned that Jeff Bezos might liquidate a large position in the company or that he might lose his significant voting share in the company. Nevertheless, he remains the world’s wealthiest person after the divorce. He is keeping $114.8 billion in Amazon stock, marking 12% of the total shares. MacKenzie reportedly has agreed to give her ex-husband voting control of her shares. She has also vowed to donate half her wealth to charity, joining the “Giving Pledge” launched by billionaires Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.
While few couples hold billions of dollars worth of assets, many have significant investment funds, retirement accounts or real estate holdings. Even spouses who maintained a relatively amicable relationship may find themselves fighting over property division during a divorce. In a community property state like Texas, there can be significant disagreements over marital and separate assets.
The financial implications of dissolving a marriage can linger long after the relationship issues are resolved, especially in a high-asset divorce. A family law attorney can represent a divorcing spouse throughout the process and work to obtain a fair settlement on property division, spousal support and other issues.