- Bill and Melinda Gates never signed a statute of limitations, according to divorce records shared by TMZ.
- The couple announced their separation on Monday. Bill Gates is estimated to be worth $ 146 billion.
- The couple instead share their property and debts under a separation contract.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Bill and Melinda Gates never signed a marriage contract, but they have a “separation contract” that sets out how they will share their property when they divorce, TMZ reported Monday.
The philanthropic couple announced on Monday that they were divorced after 27 years of marriage.
Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft and owns 1
TMZ shared a copy of Gateses’ divorce records, in which they asked if the couple had signed a custody, separation or property agreement.
The couple said they had a separation contract that they wanted the court to enforce, but did not say they had custody.
Read more: How the CEO of a Bill Gates-backed battery launch persuaded the technology mogul to invest in his solid state technology
A prenup is a legal agreement that couples can sign before marriage. It determines what will happen to a couple’s assets if they divorce or one of them dies, and it can also set financial expectations for a 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 shows their rights and obligations, such as child support and custody, and is signed without involving the court.
Sometimes a divorce contract is followed by a divorce, but some couples use it as an opportunity to repair their marriage, according to the New York City Bar.
In the divorce files, the couple requested that their real estate, personal property and debts be divided according to their separation contract. Melinda Gates did not ask for spouse support.
The couple also said their marriage was “irrevocably broken” and asked the court to end their marriage on the date stated in their separation contract, although that date was not stated in the divorce shares that TMZ shared.
The documents, stored Monday in King County, Washington, show Melinda Gates as petitioner and Bill Gates as respondent. The archive includes a trial period on April 4, 2022.
The settlement from Gates’ divorce could be one of the largest ever, insiders reported Katie Canales. When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, split in 2019, their settlement was $ 38 billion, making MacKenzie Scott the world’s third largest woman.