Bill and Melinda Gates getting divorced

Yehudi

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Per Melinda’s Instagram, they will continue to head the foundation together.

The financial wheeling And dealing (if it hasn’t been completed already) will be very interesting.

 

MacMadame

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I find this so weird because an interview of theirs was part of John Oliver's show last night and their dynamic was off to me.
 

Sylvia

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Per Melinda’s Instagram, they will continue to head the foundation together.
Their joint statement was also tweeted by her (and him): https://twitter.com/melindagates/status/1389316399428866049

The couple jointly chairs one of the world's largest philanthropies, and both are signatories of Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge, a commitment of the world's wealthiest people to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropic endeavors. Buffett and Gates have been close friends for nearly 30 years, with the latter crediting the former for having taught him important lessons on life and investing.
According to multiple sources, foundation staff was alerted ahead of time before the couple broke the news on social media — with one staffer describing the internal mood as one of "total shock."
The Gates' divorce raises questions about how one of the world's largest fortunes will be divided, but Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos provides a useful test case of how the fruits of the Gates' union will be divided.
 

FiveRinger

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Apparently in the separation agreement, Melinda says the marriage is "irretrievably broken." That's making me think that someone did something. I have no idea what that is, but that sounds bad.
 

FiveRinger

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I think Washington requires that wording - if both partners agree the marriage is irretrievably broken, the divorce can be granted without much muss or fuss. It just means they think the marriage is over.
Thank you for the clarification. I hadn't ever heard this verbiage before. It sounds ominous.
 

skateboy

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I found their statement weird. "we can no longer grow together as a couple" What does that even mean?
Maybe one of them is gay? Just a thought. Sometimes people come to that realization -- or acceptance of it -- later in life.

Of course, I have no idea. Mere speculation.
 

millyskate

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I imagine it's going to be tough for them because their shared experience is so specific that finding a durable new partner that can act as a peer is going to be incredibly hard.
I had a friend who worked for someone amongst the world's richest people, and this man also left his wife later in life, much to the confusion of his entourage. Wealth and power can be isolating, and losing your closest support, the support that's been with you from the start, isn't a decision to be taken lightly.
 

MacMadame

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Prenups are such a weird concept to me. Are they common anywhere other than the US?
For rich people, I think. But they seem to be used more in trophy wife/husband situations. Like when a rich, famous person marries someone less rich and famous. i.e., Trump and his wives, Tom Cruise and his.

To me, it makes sense if you live in a community property state and one or both parties has significant assets to at least list them and make it clear which ones you are bringing into the marriage as community property and what you are both agree are yours and not community property. It makes sense because, if something happens, either a divorce or the death of one, it's one less financial thing to argue about.

What doesn't make sense to me is these prenups where they talk about what will happen if there is a divorce and say things like "if we stay married for X years, the less rich spouse gets X dollars". First of all, it's planning for failure. Secondly, how can you possibly know what the situation will be in 5, 10, 25 years and what would be fair?
 

maatTheViking

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I found their statement weird. "we can no longer grow together as a couple" What does that even mean?

I think this is mirroring the buzzword of the industry (tech & charity both) 'growth mindset'. You're supposed to keep growing, and not focus on failure as much as opportunity to grow, and also not stay in a 'fixed mindset'. (it's actually pretty useful I think)
I suppose this is a way of saying that they're not divorcing because they are of a fixed mindset that they can't be continue, but that they have decided they can grow more without being together?

but who knows. I was not surprised at this phrasing.


His net worth is now $145 billion. He was well into Microsoft when they got married (1994).

It’s not like we didn’t have what happened with Jeff Bezos and his divorce. They didn’t have a prenup, either.

The Gates do have three children, but I believe they are all adults now.


When the Gates got married, he was head of a much smaller company, and she was working there too. I am certain they saw the success of the company as their joint success. HIS net worth is not $145 billion, THEIR net worth is that. Any financial decisions they made about all that Microsoft stock and how they reinvested their fortune was made together. Why would you assume it is his money only?
I don't think he brought significantly more assets to the marriage than she did.

I believe it was the same with Bezos, afaik they were working on plans for Amazon together. Most of Amazon's growth happened when they were still together, so why would the fortune be his alone?

(Now, when Makenzie Scott re-married, it would make sense for prenup, given how much money she brought to the marriage.)
 

Vagabond

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Single people who are out of debt and childless still have assets and income.
Again, so? The assets from before marriage are their separate property unless they agree otherwise or the owner unilaterally converts it to community property. Money earned from work during marriage is community property, and there are strong reasons for having it be community property, such as protecting the widow or widower from inheritance taxes.
 

overedge

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Again, so? The assets from before marriage are their separate property unless they agree otherwise or the owner unilaterally converts it to community property. Money earned from work during marriage is community property, and there are strong reasons for having it be community property, such as protecting the widow or widower from inheritance taxes.

Thanks, I know how these assets are allocated.

However, a couple that's been together for a while before being married might have joint assets or financial commitments before they formally get married, like a lease on an apartment or house, or a shared bank account. A pre-nup can clarify what happens to those if they break up. A pre-nup can also help the spouse who makes less or has less during the marriage to get a reasonable share of the community property.
 

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