Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world and recently made headlines after announcing that he and his wife Melinda will be divorcing, bringing an end to their 27 years of marriage together.
Bill Gates is worth $150 billion and now it seems he will understand the true pain of a divorce settlement. With no prenuptial agreement in place, a divorce of this nature is certainly going to be a difficult one.
According to Hollywood Life, they have been told by a lawyer that Melinda might be receiving a significant amount of money when all is said and done. According to Seattle attorney Brent Bohan, the place were Bill Gates and his wife live is considered a community property state.
”What that means, essentially, is that any property acquired during the course of the marriage is subject to equitable division.”
Everything is ultimately dependent on what the courts say.
“There’s certain situations where the court may determine, based on principles of equity, that one party should receive more property than the other party.”
However, with the lack of knowledge regarding a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement for Bill Gates and his wife, “everything is just wide open, but it could be that anything that was acquired during the course of their marriage, including Microsoft, is subject to equitable division.”
“Let’s, for example, say that [Bill’s] stake in Microsoft is I don’t know, $500 billion. Melinda is entitled to her share. But it may not be possible for them to divide the company 50/50 or even close to that, because it would mean that they’d have to sell off a large portion of their stake and no longer have a majority share,” Bohan said. “Because of that she may decide to say look, in order to maintain control he can keep $300 billion and I’ll take $200 billion. I think the problem is when you start talking about numbers this large equity kind of becomes something that’s really, really subjective.”
It is highly unlikely the divorce settlement will result in an even 50/50 split and it is also doubtful that Melinda Gates will be asking for spousal support. We will keep you updated on this ongoing case.