In what may be one of the biggest high net worth divorces in the U.S., Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates have decided to end their 27-year marriage. There are many financial implications for their divorce, which could impact them personally as well as have an effect on their philanthropic activities.
The grounds for divorce
Melinda Gates filed the petition for divorce. The petition stated the marriage was “irretrievably broken” essentially utilizing a no-fault grounds for divorce. It has been reported that Melinda Gates has been planning this divorce since 2019.
The couple did not have a prenuptial agreement
Surprisingly, Bill and Melinda Gates did not have a prenuptial agreement in place. At the time of their marriage in 1994, Bill Gates was the wealthiest person in the nation, holding over $9 billion in assets. The Gates have since amassed a fortune of approximately $124 billion. In addition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is worth approximately $50 billion.
Property division in a high net worth divorce can be very complex, and the Gates’ divorce is no different. Melinda Gates as already received $1.8 billion in stock once held by Bill Gates, including 14 million shares of Canadian National Railway and 2.9 million shares of AutoNation. However, the couple has not revealed any further details about property division in their divorce.
Learn more about high net worth divorce
The Gates’ divorce serves as a good example of how even financially successful a couple is, and even if a couple has been married 20 years or more, divorce may ultimately enter the picture. Those who are interested in learning more about high net worth divorce are invited to explore our firm’s website for further information.