Read more: How the CEO of a Bill Gates-backed battery startup persuaded the tech mogul to invest in his solid-state tech The couple said they had a separation contract, which they wanted the court to enforce, but did not say that they had a prenup. A prenup is a legal agreement that couples can sign before marriage. It establishes what will happen with a couple’s assets if they divorce or one of them dies, and it can also set financial expectations for a marriage.
A section in the Gateses’ divorce filings asked whether the couple had signed a prenup, separation contract, or community property agreement. Bill Gates, who cofounded Microsoft and owns 1% of the tech company, is worth an estimated $146 billion, according to Bloomberg. This places him fourth on Bloomberg’s list of the world’s wealthiest people. The divorce settlement could be one of the largest ever.
Something is loading. The philanthropist couple announced Monday that they were getting divorced after 27 years of marriage.
The couple also said their marriage was “irretrievably broken” and asked for the court to end their marriage on the date stated in their separation contract, though this date was not provided in the divorce filings. The documents, filed Monday in King County in Washington state, list Melinda Gates as the petitioner and Bill Gates as the respondent. The filings include a trial date of April 4, 2022. In the divorce filings, the couple asked for their real property, personal property, and debts to be split according to their separation contract. Melinda Gates did not ask for spousal support.
Sometimes a separation contract is followed by a divorce, but some couples use it as an opportunity to repair their marriage, according to the New York City Bar. A separation agreement, or contract, is a private legal document signed by a couple when they want to spend time apart and live separately. It lists their rights and obligations, such as child support and custody, and is signed without involving the court.
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