Some people in Kentucky may have heard about the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world. On July 5, the divorce was finalized. His wife, MacKenzie Bezos, will receive $38.3 billion in Amazon stock as part of the divorce settlement. They were married for 25 years.
In January, the couple announced their decision to divorce. At the time, it was unclear how this divorce would affect the company. The voting power held by Jeff Bezos might have been reduced, or either of them might have liquidated stock.
However, MacKenzie Bezos is allowing her ex-husband to retain voting control of her stock shares. Jeff Bezos will keep $114.8 billion, a stake of 12%. In May, MacKenzie Bezos announced her intention to give half of her money to charity as part of a campaign organized by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to encourage such donations.
Unlike Washington, where Amazon is located, Kentucky is not a community property state. However, assets in a divorce still must be divided equitably. While others going through divorce are generally dealing with much smaller amounts of property, complex investments and assets can still make the process of property division complicated. This could include stock, businesses, art collections and even retirement accounts. Even if only one partner owns a company, the other spouse may have a claim on a portion of it. A divorcing couple that has a lot of joint assets may want to seek legal assistance. A lawyer could help soon-to-be ex-spouses reach a fair settlement without going through a court battle.