In the middle of the news from Divorce from Bill and Melinda Gates, TMZ It was recently revealed that the philanthropic couple never signed a marriage agreement.
The tabloid received a copy of the couple’s divorce papers, which revealed the couple instead signed a separation agreement for the court to enforce.
While a marriage agreement is drawn up before the parties are married and sets out what each party keeps in the event of a divorce, a separation agreement is a “marriage agreement” that is signed when the two parties are considering divorce but are legally married. According to the law firm Twiford, although a separation agreement may prescribe the division of property and regulate spousal support, it cannot contain provisions related to child support and custody.
- Learn more: Bill and Melinda Gates announce divorce
Based on the above divorce petitions, the couple agreed to share real estate, personal property, debts and liabilities as set out in our separation agreement. Spousal support “is not necessary,” added the couple.
“This marriage is hopelessly broken,” wrote Melinda in her divorce petition. “We are asking the court to dissolve our marriage and find out that our conjugal union ended on the date specified in our separation agreement.”
The couple announced their divorce in one communicated on Monday.
“After much thought and hard work on our relationship, we made the decision to end our marriage,” the two said in a joint statement. “In the past 27 years we raised three incredible children and started a foundation that works around the world to help all people live healthy and productive lives. We continue to share trust in this mission and will continue to work together in the Foundation, but we no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our families as we begin to find our way in this new life. “
The couple first met in 1987 at a work event in New York. They married seven years later on New Year’s Day in Hawaii. They have three children together: Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe.
A court is expected to examine the Gates’ divorce petitions in September.