Bezos marriage ends amicably even when dividing large assets

Posted by Lauren S. CohenApr 15, 20190 Comments

New York residents interested in business and entertainment news may have heard about the divorce of Amazon power couple Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos. The couple reached a settlement agreement that has the potential to be the biggest the world has ever seen.

Both parties in the Bezos divorce have claim to assets relating to Amazon, and the chief executive and founder of Amazon has agreed to give his wife holdings that represent a percentage of their shared company stock. This will involve more than $35 billion. In turn, Mackenzie will give her husband her interests in Blue Origin and the Washington Post.

The $35 billion Mackenzie Bezos will receive represents a relatively small portion of the interests in Amazon that the couple held together. Voting control for her shares and 75 percent of the couple's stock will be retained by Jeff. In a Twitter message, Mackenzie said she was glad to give up her interests in the companies so that Jeff could continue his work with the businesses.

Jeff Bezos also posted on Twitter that he was glad the couple finished making arrangements while praising Mackenzie as a mother and partner. The Bezos story is one example of a couple that reached a settlement agreement without resorting to litigation. A trial could have involved significant time and financial resources while taking an emotional toll.

A divorce that involves business assets has the potential to become lengthy and complicated when determining each spouse's claim to the value of the business. If a business began after a marriage, the business could be considered joint property. Other factors that might influence dividing business assets may include how much money a couple invested in the business, the duration of the marriage and whether a spouse made contributions to a partner's business.