- Bill and Melinda Gates never signed a prenup, according to divorce documents shared by TMZ.
- The couple announced their separation on Monday. Bill Gates is worth around $ 146 billion.
- Rather, the couple shares their property and debts under a separation contract.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
Bill and Melinda Gates have never signed a prenuptial agreement, but they do have a “separation contract” that stipulates how they will share their property when they separate, TMZ reported Monday.
The philanthropic couple announced Monday that they will divorce after 27 years of marriage.
Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft and owns 1% of the tech company, is worth around $ 146 billion, according to Bloomberg. This places him fourth on Bloomberg’s list of the richest people in the world. The divorce settlement could be one of the most important ever.
TMZ shared a copy of the Gates’ divorce papers, which asked if the couple had signed a prenup, separation contract, or community property agreement.
The couple said they had a separation contract, which they wanted the court to enforce, but did not say they had a prenup.
Read more: How the CEO of a Bill Gates-backed battery startup persuaded the tech mogul to invest in his solid-state technology
A prenup is a legal agreement that couples can sign before marriage. It establishes what will happen to a couple’s assets in the event of a divorce or the death of one of them, and it can also set financial expectations for a marriage.
A separation agreement, or contract, is a private legal document signed by a couple who want to spend time and live apart. It lists their rights and obligations, such as alimony and child custody, and is signed without involving the court.
Sometimes a separation contract is followed by a divorce, but some couples take the opportunity to repair their marriage, according to the New York City Bar.
In the divorce petitions, the couple requested that their real estate, personal assets and debts be divided based on their separation contract. Melinda Gates did not ask for spousal support.
The couple also said their marriage was “irretrievably broken” and asked the court to end their marriage on the date stated in their separation agreement, although that date is not listed in the divorce documents shared by TMZ. .
The documents, filed Monday in King County, Washington, name Melinda Gates as a petitioner and Bill Gates as a respondent. The filings include a trial date of April 4, 2022.
The Gates’ divorce settlement could be one of the biggest ever, Insider’s Katie Canales reported. When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie parted ways in 2019, their settlement amounted to $ 38 billion, making MacKenzie Scott the third richest woman in the world.