129.9 billion dollars. This is the estimated fortune of the 4th richest man on the planet. After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates surprised Internet users by making their divorce official on social networks on Monday 3 May. The question is: who will get the money?
27 years of marriage, 3 children, 1 foundation
After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. [...] We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.
Married since January 1, 1994, the Gates not only share their life together and three children. The couple also work together. It was in this context that Melinda, then a marketing manager at Microsoft, met her future husband. Together, they also created the Bill-and-Melinda Gates Philanthropic Foundation in 2000, which also raises a lot of money.
We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation.
No marriage contract between the Gates
If money is one of the main causes of divorce, it is also its biggest problem. Indeed, depending on whether or not one has drawn up a marriage contract, one does not come out of a divorce with the same purse. Money is THE conflictual issue in a separation. And it makes us even more curious when the fortune in question is estimated at several hundred billion dollars! Melinda Gates has already filed for divorce in King County, Washington.
The first piece of news is that the couple did not have a prenup when they got married! Now, no contract means separation of assets, but how much? According to People magazine, the ex-spouses will divide their assets according to a separation agreement. And the list of their assets is very, very long. A lakefront home near Seattle valued at $125 million (£90 million), a $59 million (£42.6 million) ranch in Florida, a $43 million (£31 million) villa in Del Mar, California, another home in Wyoming, several private jets, an art collection, including a $30 million (£21.6 million) Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci, etc, etc.
Well... as you can see, there's no need to list all of their properties, villas and other assets scattered around the world to understand that their notary is going to have their work cut out for them. People magazine has also revealed that Melinda Gates will not be asking for alimony. A few billion at the end of the divorce procedure should be enough for her!