Billionaire Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates better get ready to write some hefty checks in the wake of his recently-announced split with wife Melinda Gates after 27 years of marriage.
TMZ reports that the philanthropic power couple never signed a prenuptial agreement, and instead inked a separation contract that they told the court to enforce.
Entrepreneur has more details:
According to the aforementioned divorce filings, the couple has agreed to divide real estate property, personal property, debts and liabilities as "set forth in our separation contract." Spousal support "is not needed," the couple further added.
"This marriage is irretrievably broken," Melinda wrote in her request for a divorce. "We ask the court to dissolve our marriage and find that our marital community ended on the date stated in our separation contract."
On Monday, the couple made headlines by releasing a statement revealing that their marriage was officially over:
"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," the two said in a joint statement.
"Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. 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. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."
In a bid to salvage as much of his $146 billion fortune as he can, Bill Gates hired a team of A-list lawyers that includes Warren Buffet’s longtime consultant Ronald Olson.
Melinda also hired a heavy-hitting team of legal eagles to represent her, according to Bloomberg Law:
Paul Weiss senior trial lawyer Bruce Birenboim and Loretta Ippolito, co-chair of the firm’s personal representation practice in New York, are representing Melinda Gates, along with Robert Cohen and Shannon Rogers Simpson of Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich and Bellevue, Wash.-based divorce lawyer Sherri Anderson.
Bill, 65, and Melinda, 56, a former manager at Microsoft, have said publicly that their separation is "amicable" and that they intend to continue working together in philanthropic affairs. Be that as it may, all signs point to a major payout for Melinda after 27 years of marriage.