Melinda and Bill Gates Don't Have a Prenup: How They’ll Divide an Estimated $130 Billion

In a petition for divorce, Melinda Gates called her marriage to Bill Gates “irretrievably broken.” That filing sheds more light on their split, including how they’ll divide assets with no prenup.

By Samantha Schnurr May 04, 2021 3:49 PMTags
Watch: Bill Gates & Melinda Gates Divorcing After 27 Years of Marriage

On the heels of Melinda Gates and Bill Gates' bombshell breakup, more light is being shed on the circumstances of their divorce. 

According to Melinda's divorce petition filed May 3 and obtained by E! News, the estranged couple said their marriage is "irretrievably broken." 

"We ask the court to dissolve our marriage," the document states, "and find that our marital community ended on the date stated in our separation contract." The separation contract, which has not been made public, is the only written agreement noted by Melinda in the divorce petition. When asked in the document the type of written agreements they have signed, she did not include a prenuptial agreement. They requested that the court enforce their separation contract and to divide real property, personal property and any debts as laid out in that contract. 

Though the Microsoft co-founder is worth an estimated $130 billion, the petition—signed by both parties—also states that spousal support is not needed. Melinda also declined to request an order for protection, restraining order or name change. 

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The same day the petition was filed, the parents of three issued a joint statement on social media announcing their split. "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship," the statement read, "we have made the decision to end 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."

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As for the future of that joint foundation, "We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation," the message read, "but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives."

They concluded the statement with a request for the public: "We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."