No marriage is perfect, no matter how much money you have. This is becoming especially clear as more news is revealed daily about the divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates. The power couple have used their wealth to build a foundation and donate to science and, seemingly, live happily ever after. But no one knows what’s happening inside a marriage except those two people – and even then, sometimes you only know half of it. Now that Bill and Melinda are getting a divorce, there are things every couple can learn from the fall of their union.
No One Is Immune from Gray Divorce
The gray divorce has become a popular term to describe married couples in their 50s and older who have decided to call it quits. Sometimes these splits occur because the empty nest makes a pair realize they were only together for the kids – which seems to be the case for the Gates’ since their youngest is now 18. Or, they may come to terms with the reality that they’ve got several good decades still ahead of them and don’t want to spend them together.
The only hang-up is that divorce at any age can be financially debilitating. It is especially critical to work with your Michigan divorce lawyer to negotiate retirement savings, life insurance, pensions, and more, so you’re not caught in the red during what are supposed to be your golden years. If your ex remarries, you want to have clauses in your divorce settlement identifying what remains yours, no matter what.
Infidelity Can Only Be Tolerated for So Long
Plenty of couples have an “understanding” with each other about what’s sanctioned in their union and what is not. One of the most mind-blowing details to emerge from the Gates divorce is that Bill and Melinda had an arrangement that allowed him to spend one long weekend a year with his old girlfriend, just the two of them.
Many people blinked hard at the reveal of this information and therapists are picking this revelation apart, identifying its merits and drawbacks for modern relationships. There have always been unconventional unions, but for someone with wealth and a known name and face, this kind of arrangement seems like a thing of fiction. Though Michigan is a no-fault state, it’s relevant to your divorce if you know that your ex committed infidelity, no matter what verbal agreement you had with each other during your marriage.
Thank Your Spouse
Though the Netflix docuseries Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates was released over two years ago, he made a poignant statement in the interview saying the one thing he wish he’d done more of was to thank Melinda.
If your union is feeling especially rocky or nearing divorce, perhaps take this comment to heart. When it comes to fidelity, Bill may not win any awards, but this piece of wisdom could be marriage-saving, especially for couples who have lived through a pandemic together and found their union tested tremendously. Regular, heartfelt thank yous to your significant other could be the difference between staying together and breaking up.
Protect Your Assets
Finally, the biggest piece of news is that the Gates did not have a prenuptial agreement. They spent a year working out a separation agreement before announcing their split. Even if you make a fortune after marriage, you can get a postnuptial agreement to safeguard your assets in the case of a Michigan divorce.
Have questions about your “regular” divorce instead of a billionaire split? Consult with a Michigan divorce lawyer. Contact Michigan Divorce Help in Macomb County to schedule your free initial consultation.