Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Settles the Most Expensive Divorce in United States History. Breaking Record Held By an Oklahoma Oil Magnate.
On April 5th, 2019, MacKenzie Bezos took to Twitter to announce that she had reached a divorce settlement with her husband Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to reporting from the BBC, the value of the divorce settlement was at least $35 billion. All but certainly making this the most expensive divorce in United States history. This case has brought some fresh attention to Oklahoma oil magnate Harold Hamm’s controversial billion dollar divorce case. In early 2015, Mr. Hamm’s divorce made national headlines after he sent his ex-wife Sue Ann Arnall a $975 million divorce check. Which she initially rejected.
That $975 million check represented the full amount that Mr. Hamm’s ex wife won though an Oklahoma County judge.
She decided not to accept the payment on the advice of her legal counsel. This was on the basis that doing so would potentially hurt her ability to appeal the decision. Ms. Arnail believed that the $1 billion divorce payment was inequitable when considering the true value of Mr. Hamm’s fortune — by some measures he was worth more than $15 billion. Though, there was considerable disagreement over his true net worth. Born in Lexington, OK, Mr. Hamm made his money in large part through the development of the shale oil of the Bakken. Eventually Ms. Arnail did cash the check. Soon after, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma dismissed her appeal.
Dividing up assets in a high-end divorce can be deeply complex.
As noted by the Oklahoma City property division attorneys at Brown & Gould, PLLC, “Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state. In Oklahoma, a couple’s marital assets are split up in a fair manner. Of course, property cannot be equitably divided until identified and valued. Business interests, real estate, and other high-end assets are frequently difficult to value.”
Even after settling the divorce, and giving up 25 percent of the couple’s ownership stake in Amazon; Jeff Bezos will remain the richest man on the planet.
Some financial analysts noted that the divorce settlement is widely seen as good news for Amazon shareholders. He escaped certain risks that may have come with a contested divorce. Further, Mr. Bezos retained full voting power over Amazon in the divorce settlement. In fact, there is not expected to be any adverse impact for one of the world’s largest companies.