The divorce of the world’s billionaire couple, Bill and Melinda Gates, is likely the most stunning news of the year.
The pair issued a joint announcement about their divorce on Twitter on Monday, but court documents revealed that they were divorced before deciding to divorce.
However, the date of their divorce was not specified in the court documents.
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“After much deliberation and hard work, we have decided to dissolve our marriage.
Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue to work together at the foundation, but 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,” they said in the joint statement.
Melinda Gates, 56, characterized her marriage to Bill Gates, 64, as “irretrievably shattered” in a divorce petition.
The records have revealed that the Microsoft owner, who is the world’s fourth richest man with a wealth of about $130 billion, did not ink a prenuptial deal with his estranged wife of over 27 years.
The result of not getting a prenuptial arrangement is that the couple has none to guide them in the process of sharing their fortune, which includes homes in five states, a private plane, an incredible art collection, and a fleet of luxury vehicles.
In the divorce petition, which was filed in Superior Court of Washington – King County on Monday, Melinda asked the judge to dissolved the marriage ‘on the date stated in our separation contract’. The separation contract was not included in the filing so that date is unclear.
In the absence of the pre-nuptial agreement, the only agreement pertaining to the divorce is the separation contract.
Melinda did not ask for any spousal support but requested a trial date in April 2022. However it is likely the divorce will be settled without a trial.
The petition states that finances pertaining to the couple’s three children are addressed in the separation contract. The document was signed by both Bill and Melinda, as well as their attorneys.
Both Bill and Melinda hired powerhouse law firms to assist in the divorce. Melinda is represented by a team of four New York based attorneys from two separate firms: Cohen Clair Lane Griefer Thorpe & Rottenstreich LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Munger Tolles & Olson, a law firm headquartered in Los Angeles, is representing Bill.
Charles T Munger, one of the lawyers, is a former associate of Bill’s billionaire pal Warren Buffett.
The news came less than two weeks after they made their final simulated public appearance at a COVID forum for healthcare workers.