Irwin Mitchell Experts Offer Tips To Divorcing Amicably
Bill and Melinda Gates, one of the world’s richest couples, have announced their divorce, throwing into question how their businesses, charities and wealth will be divided up.
Bill Gates is the fourth wealthiest man in the world and is worth around £89bn. The couple didn’t sign a pre-nup prior to their 1994 wedding, but say they’ve signed a separation contract detailing how their vast assets are to be split.
The couple jointly own and run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest global charities, which they’ve pledged to continue working together towards. In 2019 the foundation had assets of more than $43bn.
Given the huge wealth of the couple, divorce experts at leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell say communication is one of the key parts of making sure a divorce is as amicable as possible.
Expert Opinion“For me, there’s a golden system for clients: communicate, explore your options and retain control. Following this system is crucial to making sure a divorce is amicable.
“Communication is so important, otherwise a divorce can turn into a game of Chinese whispers with all of the different parties involved. Discuss with your partner early on how to keep this amicable – it’s better to keep the money for the children or your futures rather than spending it on legal fees.
“Exploring your options is absolutely crucial these days. With the court system creaking under the pressure, it’s worth looking into the other choices available such as mediation, arbitration or collaborative law. Choosing your forum means you can look at what works best for you and your personal situation.
“With retaining control, taking advice is critical so you’re at least informed of everything available to you. We’ve seen a trend lately where clients go to mediation, but have their lawyer supporting in the background – this way clients can feel more in control of the process while still getting expert advice.” Zahra Pabani - Partner