Splitting Bill and Melinda Gates’ Fortune

Divorce Fighting over Assets
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Bill and Melinda Gates have decided to move forward separately in their lives.  How could they split the Gates fortune?  They live in a community property state, which means property and debts obtained during the marriage are generally considered the property of both, and each have an equal share.

As Bill Gates was quite wealthy when they married, and they have a separation agreement detailing how property will be split, they already know how things will proceed.  But if they did not, SquareFairy could help them find cost-efficient ways to divide their property fairly and prepare divorce papers (currently handling California).

CNBC listed the various assets in their Breakdown of the Billionaire’s Wealth article.  The SquareFairy Proptimizer considers income and capital gains taxes, as well as fees to sell off property, in order to maximize the value the couple receives in the end.  We can also show the expected impact of selling off assets, if raising cash is important.

Potential Split

Here is one potential split of their property:

RE: Medina, WA$127M
RE: Wellington, FL$55M
RE: Del Mar, CA$20M
RE: Indian Wells, CA$1M
RE: Grand Bogue Caye$25M
Stock: MSFT$26B
Misc: Art$130M
Misc: Cars$650k
Misc: Cascade Inv.$29.9B
Misc: Proceeds$11.5B$7.5B

The couple could swap who gets what, and still meet the objective of balancing the properties.  If one of them indicates they prefer specific assets, the site will take that into account, and rebalance using other assets.  

If the couple had decided simply to sell everything, and divide the resulting cash, it would have cost them over $5.2 Billion in various taxes and real estate fees.  They benefited from living in Washington, a state without an income tax, but the tax man always gets his due.

Unless you are Bill or Melinda Gates, you probably do not have their level of net worth.  The median net worth of American families varies by age, but is about $200,000 for mid-life couples.  That might be spread across their home, stocks, 401ks, vehicles, and various accumulated debts.


The intent (and naming) of SquareFairy is to ensure you and your spouse each get a Fair & Square share of the marital assets.  Divorce is often a painful experience, but we are here to help you get through it, and move forward in your life.

SquareFairy provides a software tool called SplitFairy that helps you try various scenarios to split your property. There is no fees to use it but you will need to register.

You can also read our blog – “How to Split Property in a Divorce” here.

Mark Streich

Mark is one of the cofounders of SquareFairy, dedicated to helping struggling couples move forward, so they can rediscover the joy in their lives.

2 Responses

  1. Dian Schaffhauser says:

    This is amazing! Could it work for somebody who was *thinking* of separating too, just to understand the ramifications of assets? (Yes, I’m happily married, but still, some moments make me wonder!)

    • Blog Fairy says:

      Yes! You can enter your various assets and debts, as if you were separating, and then use the software to see what you are likely to get in a settlement.