One day after the powerhouse couple announced their shocking split, Bill and Melinda Gates‘ divorce documents have been revealed. The documents, which Melinda filed in Washington state on May 3, reveal that the couple had no prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in their 27 years of marriage. Melinda, 56, will not be seeking spousal support from her soon-to-be ex-husband, whose fortune stands at $130 billion.
Bill and Melinda did have a separation contract, according to the documents obtained by HollywoodLife. Melinda mentions the contract several times in her filing, but the details of the contract itself have not been revealed. She states the cause for divorce as an “irretrievably broken” marriage. The couple’s three children are adults, eliminating the need for custody or child support arrangements.
The billionaire philanthropists announced their divorce via Twitter, much to the public’s surprise. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, 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 to lead healthy, productive lives,” the joint statement reads.
The ended by saying that they’ll continue to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives.” Bill and Melinda, who married in September 1994, asked for privacy as they “begin to navigate this new life.”
A top Seattle divorce lawyer recently told HollywoodLife that they wouldn’t be surprised if Melinda declined to ask for spousal support. “The main basis for a request for spousal support is one party’s need versus the other party’s ability to pay,” attorney Brent Bohan explained in our EXCLUSIVE interview. “I mean, clearly he has an ability to pay and nobody’s gonna argue. But, the problem becomes what’s her need. She walks away with billions and billions of dollars. There’s no need for him to continue to pay her money.”
With no prenup, how much of the Microsoft co-founder’s $130 billion Melinda will receive in the divorce is up in the air. While Washington is a community property state, that doesn’t mean they’ll split the assets 50/50, Bohan explained. “Generally, it’s really difficult in these types of cases where you’re dealing with billions of dollars to determine what’s fair because everybody’s gonna walk away with more money than they could spend in 100 lifetimes.”