The world’s richest man to divorce

Divorce|January 10th 2019

So, the media went into a frenzy yesterday as the richest man in the world announced he was getting a divorced on Twitter.

Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, are set to divorce after a 25-year marriage and the initial reports indicate that it is amicable. Let’s hope it stays that way. Keeping things civil ensures that you can complete the divorce with less stress and less time. Not to mention this is better for their four children.

Divorce in America has very different rules. If the divorce took place in England, the starting point would be 50:50 division of all the assets. As Amazon was built up during the marriage, and any other assets such as their substantial property portfolio would very likely be split 50:50.

After such a split will Jeff Bezos still be the richest man in the world?  And will MacKenzie become one of the richest women in the world?

Of course, any division will depend on how the companies and assets are structured, and what assets are in whose names.

High-net-worth divorces can be very complicated: Trusts could have been set up for their children, money gifted to charities, and there may be offshore interests.  In which case a court may struggle to enforce an order against those offshore assets.

Perhaps they had a pre or postnuptial agreement setting out what would happen to their finances upon a divorce?

It is not uncommon for high-profile people to have a non-disclosure agreement in place, so we may never know.

One thing, however, is certain, it will be a very complicated divorce.

Phoebe Turner

Managing Partner at London Victoria

Phoebe Turner is the managing partner of our London Victoria office. She practices a broad range of private family matters, including divorce; complex financial disputes; and injunction proceedings. She frequently deals with complex, high net worth cases involving trusts, business and assets located outside the jurisdiction.

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