It’s not hard for the curious to do some digging and find some eye-popping divorce settlements that have been agreed to by the rich, famous, and not-so-famous. But in all likelihood, they are all going to pale in comparison to what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos may agree to in his divorce. Bezos and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, recently announced that they are ending their marriage amicably, and though their tweeted announcement painted a picture of two best friends, intent on continuing as co-parents and partners, there’s little doubt that Bezos, the richest man in the world, will be ending his marriage by paying MacKenzie tens of billions of dollars. This is likely to be the most expensive divorce of all time.

Contributing to the forecasts of approximately $66 billion being signed over to MacKenzie (based on Bezos’ estimated $137 billion in profits from Amazon) is the fact that the couple’s home state of Washington is a community property state, and that means that any assets accumulated during the course of their two-and-a-half decade marriage gets split down the middle. A quick check of the couple’s history together reveals that the two married one year after the tech entrepreneur started his company, and that means that none of Amazon’s profits can be considered premarital assets.

There is no telling what kind of arrangements the couple will make when it comes to child support or spousal support, but if the predictions of $66 million (less with the cost of attorney fees) going to each are correct, it is unlikely that Mrs. Bezos will have a hard time paying for expenses. To compare the probable outcome to other headline-grabbing divorce settlements, take a look at a few other settlements that have been reported over the last several years:

  1. Prior to the Bezos divorce, the most expensive divorce settlement in history was attributed to Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein. In 1999, the businessman and art dealer agreed to provide his wife $3.8 billion.
  2. The second most expensive divorce settlement in recent years took place between Rupert Murdoch and his wife of 31 years, Anna Torv. The media mogul and his journalist wife had three children together, and when they split in 1998, he agreed to pay her $1.7 billion.

Every divorce is unique and requires careful attention from the attorney representing you. If you need guidance as you navigate this challenging process, contact us today.

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