Jeff Bezos followed the long-standing tradition of divorcing couples this past Wednesday by announcing his divorce in early January. Last Wednesday, January 9, Bezos publicly tweeted about how, after a long trial separation, he and his wife, MacKenzie, were entering into a divorce. The carefully-worded tweet, calling the divorce a “development in our lives”, and stating that he and Mackenzie are “still family”, suggests a polite, benign divorce.
The divorce follows a long string of rumors coming forward regarding Bezos and his now-public girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez. In April 2018, photos were snapped of Bezos out dining with Sanchez. Following this scandal, texts containing private disclosures and romantic overtures surfaced as well. Sanchez, an established actress, is also still married to another man, Patrick Whitesell, a talent agent.
Jeff Bezos is worth 137 billion dollars and has no prenuptial agreement in place with wife MacKenzie, who he has been married to for 25 years. Mackenzie Bezos is an author and an anti-bullying activist. The game-changing factor of the divorce is considering what assets in the marriage are to be considered community versus separate property. Some believe that as MacKenzie was not directly involved in Bezos’ company, Amazon, that she may not be entitled to half of that company’s assets. Others are concerned for the future of the company, namely amazon.com stockholders. MacKenzie Bezos married Jeff Bezos 25 years ago, before Amazon was even established, and before any real money was made at all. Additionally, Bezos has since acquired additional companies, like Zappos and Whole Foods. By all accounts, it all boils down to how the state of Washington, the couple’s state of residence, interprets its community property laws in relevance to Jeff and MacKenzie.
Additionally, there are four children under 18 between Jeff and MacKenzie that are sure to enter the courtroom in regards to the Bezos fortune. Child support will likely be paid to the custodial parent. If this parent is Mackenzie, the courts will likely consider this when assessing her settlement and the amount of spousal and child support.