Melinda, Bill Gates Divorce: She Won't Seek Spousal Support

Gates' divorce is big news in the charitable sector
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2021 1:07 AM CDT
Updated May 4, 2021 6:41 AM CDT
Melinda, Bill Gates Divorce: She Won't Seek Spousal Support
In this Dec. 5, 2005, file photo, Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft Corp., center, and his wife Melinda, left, walk on a street in Dhaka, Bangladesh.   (AP Photo/Gazi Sarwar, File)

When Bill and Melinda Gates' divorce is finalized, she won't be getting any spousal support. People obtained a copy of Melinda Gates' divorce petition, which specifies that "spousal support is not needed" and she won't be seeking it. It also reveals that while the couple does not have a prenuptial agreement, they do have a separation agreement that will dictate how their assets are divided. Their date of separation is not clear. They're scheduled to appear in court in April of next year. Melinda Gates also on Monday filed an order restricting her and Bill from disposing of property or changing anything on their insurance policies unless both agree or a court orders it.

Reuters reports that the Gates' divorce is "shaking the philanthropic world" while Vox called it "an earthquake moment in the nonprofit sector"; they are, of course, the co-founders of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest private charitable organizations. The foundation says in a statement that Bill and Melinda "will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation’s issues, and set the organization’s overall direction," with no changes to their roles as co-chairs and trustees of the organization. A spokesperson says the foundation does not anticipate any changes to its work. Melinda Gates, who has a separate company focused on social progress and equality called Pivotal Ventures, has increasingly been using her maiden name, going by Melinda French Gates on her websites and social media. (More on the divorce here.)

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