Bill and Linda are divorcing after 27 years of marriage — one of the richest couples in the world. Famous for many things but included in their legacy is their philanthropy and the amount they have given away to charitable causes the least of which is their generous donations towards the fight against COVID-19. Bill Gates who co-founded Microsoft is worth an estimated 124 billion dollars. The couple filed a joint petition for divorce in Seattle court this week and indicated that they have already reached an agreement as to how to separate their property.

Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and married Linda almost twenty years later. Interestingly enough, I have not heard that there was a pre-nuptial agreement. There may have been a pre-nuptial agreement and the couple haats decided to keep that to themselves. Pre-nuptial agreements are not required to be filed or made public. There is no doubt that whatever division the parties have come up with will be approved by the court as both parties will be left with substantial wealth.

Bill and Linda Gates Long-term Marriage

It seems more and more common for parties in their 50’s to get divorced once the children are out of the house and there is nothing holding them together. What does keep some spouses together is the inability to move forward with a life on their own or to divorce due to financial constraints. If a couple is having financial difficulties with their income(s) living together it would be a great challenge to manage two households with the same income. Bill and Linda Gates, of course, do not have those constraints so they are able to move forward with this decision without financial pressure.

The press is reporting that Bill and Linda Gates have put out the joint statement that “They no longer believe we can grow together as a couple” which is likely the case when a divorce is filed. There are many things that can fit into this statement as to why a couple can no longer grow together but it is refreshing when both parties have made this decision and can proceed with dignity and respect through the process. This is rarely a quick decision and is generally something that has been stewing for quite some time. As for Bill and Linda Gates, in the Netflix docuseries released in 2019 called “Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates” Bill shared things about their marriage and talked about things he wishes he would have done differently in the marriage.

Lessons from Linda and Bill Gates Divorce


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