Yesterday we were hit with the news that it was about to be a Hot Billionaire Boy Summer for Bill Gates, who was splitting from his wife of 27 years, Melinda Gates. They both posted statements announcing that they were ending their marriage and that it was a decision they came to after a lot of work and a great deal of thought. Their match made at Microsoft marriage might be over, but the drama might have just begun! Because People got their hands on Melinda’s divorce documents, and they never signed a prenup when they got married back in 1994.
65-year-old Bill and 56-year-old Melinda’s statement regarding their split explained that they couldn’t grow anymore as a couple and that it was best for them to continue their respective journeys alone during the next phase of their lives. They also made it known that they both firmly believe in the mission of their philanthropic foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, so it sounds like they’re not thinking of renaming it The Bill Gates ONLY Foundation any time soon. They share three adult children, Jennifer, Phoebe, and Rory Gates, and Bill’s net worth of $130 to $150 billion dollars. And Bill better be ok with sharing that net worth, because, with no prenup in place, Melinda is well within her legal rights to throw a couple of duffel bags on the bed and tell Bill to stuff them up with half his money when she leaves. via People:
According to Melinda’s petition for divorce filed in King County, Washington, and obtained by PEOPLE, the couple does not have a prenuptial agreement, but will instead divide their assets according to a separation agreement.
Melinda said in the petition that “spousal support is not needed.”
The pair are scheduled to appear in court in April 2022. Their Alternative Dispute Resolution date is set for March 2022. Their case will be reviewed in September.
Melinda also filed an automatic temporary order setting financial restraints on Monday, which restricts her and Bill’s ability to dispose of property or make changes to insurance policies, except as agreed in writing or as ordered by the court.
This divorce will probably be settled without a trial because Bill and Melinda Gates seem like quiet, respectable, drama-averse types who wouldn’t want to coat their reputation in a stinky layer of divorce settlement messiness. Just like Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, who settled their $137 billion divorce just shy of three months after they announced they were splitting up. But speaking of drama, there is a chance it could get just a little juicy. In Melinda’s divorce filing, it states the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” That could be standard legal jargon, but since Melinda is the one who filed, of course there’s a small neuron of suspicious energy. Like, was this choice Melinda’s? Did they realize they couldn’t grow any more as a couple, because she thought vaccine access should be available to everyone around the world? Was Melinda growing tired of the nauseous feeling she got when she thought of Bill’s former friends? Did Melinda catch Bill installing his hardware in someone else’s software? At the very least, we know Bill doesn’t have to worry if Melinda decides to kick him out. He can always call up his ex-girlfriend and crash on her beach house couch!
Sometimes there’s that one small detail about a famous person that sticks with you for years and for me it’s been that Bill Gates negotiated into his marriage the right to take an annual beach house weekend with his ex-girlfriend.
— Megan K. Stack (@Megankstack) May 4, 2021
Bill Gates has reportedly hired three law firms to figure out his divorce. Business Insider says that their “separation agreement” will work in a similar way to a prenup, and will help them split up their properties and assets. It’s not known whether Melinda will get half, or a smaller percentage of Bill’s net worth, but this could be one of the biggest divorce settlements in history. For reference, the current record holder for that is MacKenzie Bezos, with $38 billion. Even if Bill splits it down the middle, he’s still super-duper rich. Half of his net worth is $65 to $75 billion.
Still, the gold diggers will be out in full effect. It’s only a matter of time before Bill or Melinda open up their computer, and Clippy pops up to say “It looks like you need some company, baby.” This flirty paper clip is never up to any good.