Bill and Melinda Gates have been one of the richest couples in the world for a long time now. However, happily ever after doesn’t always happen in real life. The recent news about their divorce, has the world speculating the pair’s net worth. Also, if they signed a prenup back in 1994, when they got married 27 years ago.
Bill And Melinda Gates Getting Divorced
In a joint statement, the Gates shocked the world and announced they are ending their marriage. After 27 years together, the duo share three children, Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe.
Bill and Melinda first met in 1987 after meeting at a trade show in New York. Melinda would eventually move to Seattle and start working for Microsoft as a marketing manager and was later promoted to be General Manager of Information Products. She left the company in 1996 to focus on their family.
Bill’s Staggering Net Worth
According to Forbes, Bill Gates has a mind-boggling net worth of $130.5 billion, making him the fourth richest person in the world. Gates’ massive fortune primarily comes from being a co-founder of Microsoft and various investments. He was CEO of the company until 2000 and remained chairman until 2014. Today, Gates owns a little over 1% of shares in Microsoft after selling and giving away much of his stake.
Since 2006, Bill and Melinda have been co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which they will continue to work on together despite their divorce. The foundation is the largest private charitable organization in the world, spending more than $5 billion each year. In May 2020, they pledged they would spend $300 million in the fight against COVID-19.
Is There A Prenuptial Agreement?
Despite speculation, the couple never signed a prenup before they got married. However, according to court documents obtained by TMZ, they did sign a separation contract. It’s an agreement signed by a couple when they want to get a divorce. The contract outlines how they plan on dividing up their real estate, possessions, assets, and multi-billion dollar fortune.
Melinda Gates met with divorce lawyers in 2019, say people familiar and documents reviewed by WSJ. One concern: her husband's dealings with Jeffrey Epstein. https://t.co/xHtQnMrjQY
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) May 9, 2021
Though Melinda is not requesting spousal support, nor is there a parenting plan since all three of their children are above the age of 18, the divorce proceedings could still be tricky. Given their massive wealth, it’s quite possible they could set a record for the largest divorce settlement ever, surpassing Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Scott’s messy $38 billion divorce from 2019.
Because their separation agreement has not yet been publicly disclosed, it’s unclear how Bill and Melinda plan on dividing everything up. Even if their property and assets aren’t split 50/50, the divorce could have a major impact on both of their net worths. After Bezos and Scott’s divorce finalized, Scott became the third-wealthiest woman in the world.
Bill and Melinda have requested a trial date in April 2022. Given that they already have a separation contract in place, it’s likely they will settle out of court.