Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and fourth wealthiest person in the world has announced his divorce from wife, Melinda Gates after 27 years of marriage. Both Bill and Melinda shared identical posts on twitter confirming their intention to end their marriage on Monday 3 May 2021.
The divorce of the philanthropic couple is likely to be followed closely by media and lawyers alike. Bill is reported to be the fourth wealthiest person in the world with an estimated fortune of £90 billion.
It is being widely reported that Bill and Melinda did not enter in to a pre-nuptial agreement.
The couple’s separation will no doubt attract worldwide press attention as we wait with baited breath to see how the couple’s wealth will be divided. The Gates’ divorce will be the largest division of assets since Amazon’s Jeff Bezo’s divorce.
In an interview with The Times in 2019, Melinda is reported to have commented that before their engagement Bill spent hours weighing up whether he and Melinda should marry or break up, she describes Bill making a pros and cons list. It may therefore be surprising to learn that Bill did not decide to enter in to a pre-nuptial agreement with Melinda, despite holding the record as the youngest American billionaire at the time they met.
Whilst pre-nuptial agreements are not currently legally binding in the UK, if entered into properly, with the assistance of legal advice, significant weight will be attached to their existence by the English Courts.
If you wish to discuss any issue in respect to a pre-nuptial agreement or divorce please contact Anna Patsalides, Solicitor or Olive McCarthy, Partner at Taylor Walton Solicitors who can advise on how to correctly satisfy the criteria that the Court would want to see in order for significant weight to be attached to a pre-nuptial agreement.