After nearly 30 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates announced Monday that they are getting divorced. Although their split was confirmed in a joint statement released by the couple on social media, new divorce documents have revealed more information about the end of their marriage.
Obtained by PEOPLE, the documents show that Melinda filed the petition for divorce in King County, Washington late Monday afternoon, stating that their marriage is "irretrievably broken." The desire for a divorce was mutual, however, with Melinda writing, "We ask the court to dissolve our marriage and find that our marital community ended on the date stated in our separation contract." A date of separation was not immediately clear.
The documents also show that the couple does not have a prenuptial agreement and will divide their real estate, personal property and debts and liabilities through a separation contract, and Melinda said that "spousal support is not needed." Fox Business reports that among their most notable assets is their mansion in Washington state, estimated at $120 million, and a private plane. Gates is also one of the largest individual Microsoft shareholders. The outlet reports that if the couple is unable to reach an agreement as to how to divide marital assets, a judge would typically divide community property equally between the two. In Washington, there is a minimum waiting period of 90 days for a divorce case to be finalized.
Along with the petition for divorce, Melinda also filed an automatic temporary order setting financial restraints. This order 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." As they move forward with their divorce, the former couple will be responsible for their own future incurred debts, except as agreed in writing.
Bill and Melinda met in 1987 while working at Microsoft. At the time, according to CBS News, Melinda was just 24 and had only just begun working at the company. Bill, meanwhile, was 31 and the CEO. They married in Hawaii in 1994, and just a year later, Bill officially became the richest man in the world.
The pair announced Monday that "after a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage… We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives." The former couple is set to appear in court in April 2022. Their Alternative Dispute Resolution date is set for March 2022 and their case will be reviewed in September.0comments