Could Bill Gates’s wife Melinda take his entire net worth in the divorce?
Billionaire husband/wife duo and philanthropists Bill & Melinda Gates have decided to file for divorce after twenty-seven years of marriage. Bill & Melinda Gates have a hefty fortune of over $100 billion and apparently no prenuptial agreement. The couple will have to come to a financial agreement on the division of their overwhelming assets.
The Gates family & foundation
Melinda Gates was the one who filed for divorce. Her stated reason? According to court documents, her marriage was “irretrievably broken”. The couple met in 1987 when Melinda was hired as product manager at Microsoft. The two have been together ever since, and have three adult children: Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe.
In 2000, the philanthropic husband & wife founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity aiming to reduce poverty and improve access to technology & education. The organization has already donated over $2 billion to aid the fight against COVID-19 and create a vaccine.
Despite no longer being husband & wife, Bill & Melinda Gates have stated there will be no change to their positions in the foundation via their organization. “No changes to their roles or the organization are planned. They will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation’s issues, and set the organization’s overall direction”, the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation explained.
— Melinda French Gates (@melindagates) May 3, 2021
Bill Gates’s official statement
The Gates released their official statement on Twitter announcing their separation. The tweet explained: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”
When discussing the couple’s renowned charity, the announcement elaborated: “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.”
When Melinda Gates filed for divorce on May 3rd, the documents revealed there was no prenuptial agreement made when they first became husband & wife. However, the couple have created a “separation agreement”. The separation agreement, rather than in the beginning of marriage, is created once a couple decides to divorce. This agreement will detail how the couple plans to divide their vast Microsoft fortune.
Bill & Melinda Gates’s net worth
This soon-to-be ex-husband & wife are extremely successful & wealthy, even individually. Many are aware of the former richest man’s grand fortune of $130 billion. Yet, Melinda Gates also has plenty of business ventures of her own.
Melinda Gates’s net worth is unknown. However, she founded the investment company Pivotal Ventures in 2015. The investment company aims to advance social progress and improve equal opportunities for all. Pivotal Ventures invests in companies which prove to benefit the advancement of gender equality in the United States.
Melinda Gates is also a published author. She wrote the book, The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World which was released in 2019. Additionally, their shared charity foundation has net assets of over $40 billion.
In 2020, Melinda Gates was named the fifth most powerful women in the world according to Forbes. She was the second American to make the list, only preceded by Vice President Kamala Harris.
If the husband & wife split their fortune equally, Melinda Gates will become one of the most wealthy women in the world. Her expected net worth would be $73 billion.
The Gates are renowned for their extreme wealth and prominent charitable dedication. Although the couple have separated, they have made it clear their split won’t affect their charity organizations or ongoing efforts for social advancement.
It will be fascinating to see how the billionaire couple will decide to divide their record-breaking fortune.