Even though I am a divorce attorney, I am not pro-divorce. I am still optimistic about love and marriage and am hopeful that many marriages are still for “til death do us part.” Therefore, the news of Bill and Melinda Gates divorcing was heartbreaking and shocking. It’s not really surprising that another big celebrity couple is divorcing. But it was heartbreaking when you start to think about the ramifications of the divorce not only on themselves but on the world.
The impact that the Gateses have had on philanthropy in this world is unmarked, and the question that everyone is asking is how the divorce is going to impact that. The short answer to this is this is absolutely going to impact their efforts in the following ways:
- The parties’ wealth will be split in half. Bill and Melinda have been married for almost 30 years — way before the start of Microsoft and the building of each other’s wealth. There was no prenup and/or postnup, from our understanding, which would dictate how the wealth is split. If the parties divorce in Washington state (which is expected), they will split all marital wealth equally.
- The parties’ Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a business, and the parties will need to decide if they can still run a business together even though they are divorcing. As a divorce attorney, I never recommend this and suggest that the parties do what they can to have a clean split at the time of divorce. Therefore, this huge organization with over 1,500 employees worldwide will be gravely impacted. This foundation is very close to both the parties’ hearts and, therefore, it is anticipated they will do what they can to ensure it continues forward with their mission.
- Just another fairytale relationship to make us more cynical about the sanctity and protection of marriage. Bill and Melinda are at a point in their lives where they get to spend their time and efforts each day helping other people. And yet them failing at their marriage is a disappointing reminder of reality and is hard for us sitting on the sidelines to watch. If the richest people in the world cannot make it work, it can take the wind out of the sails of so many other people.
This story was shocking, and I believe there will be more that will come out in the following days. It was very suspicious how they choose to notify the world. It was done a few months after Bill stepped down from Microsoft. It was done on a Monday morning where the news was pinnacle at making it a story rather than on a Friday afternoon, which would get drowned into the weekend. There is just a lot of questions that do not make sense. But lastly, it is hard to see another American iconic marriage fall like this.
Another blow to an already start of a tough year. However, I do know if you are thinking about a divorce the best thing you can do is meet with a good divorce attorney. Jill Coil is the leading female divorce attorney in Utah, and she is here to help you protect yourself, your family, and your future.