- Bill and Melinda Gates have never signed a preliminary preparation, according to divorce cases shared by TMZ.
- The couple announced their separation on Monday. Bill Gates is worth about 146 billion dollars.
- Instead, the couple divides their property and debts under a separation agreement.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
Bill and Melinda Gates have never signed a prenuptial agreement, but have a “separation agreement” that stipulates how they will divide their property when they separate, TMZ reported on Monday.
The philanthropist couple announced on Monday that they are divorcing after 27 years of marriage.
Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and owns 1
TMZ shared a copy of Gates’ divorce statements asking if the couple had signed a preliminary contract, a separation agreement or a community property agreement.
The couple said they had a separation contract that the court wanted to enforce, but did not say they had any preparations.
Read more: How the CEO of a battery starting with Bill Gates persuaded the technology mogul to invest in his solid technology
Preliminary preparation is a legal agreement that couples can sign before marriage. It sets out what will happen to the couple’s assets if they divorce or one of them dies, and can also set financial expectations for marriage.
A separation agreement or contract is a private legal document signed by a couple when they want to spend time apart and live separately. It lists their rights and obligations, such as child support and custody, and is signed without the participation of the court.
Sometimes a divorce contract is followed by a divorce, but some couples use it as an opportunity to mend their marriage, according to the New York Bar Association.
In the divorce claims, the couple asked for their real estate, personal property and debts to be separated according to their separation contract. Melinda did not ask for marital support.
The couple also said their marriage was “irrevocably broken” and asked the court to end their marriage on the date specified in their separation contract, although that date was not mentioned in the divorce cases shared by TMZ.
Documents filed Monday in King County, Washington, identify Melinda as petitioner and Bill as defendant. The declarations shall include a trial date of 4 April 2022.
The Gates divorce deal could be one of the biggest so far, said Katie Canales of Insider. When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife Mackenzie split in 2019, their deal was $ 38 billion, making Mackenzie Scott the third richest woman in the world.