After 27 years of marriage, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates have now been officially separated. The divorce was announced by the billionaire philanthropists three months ago. Washington State requires a waiting period of 90 days between filing for divorce, and it is finalized. The Seattle Times reports that neither party will receive spousal or name changes and that a judge has ordered them to divide their property following the terms of a separation agreement.
“After much thought and hard work, we have decided to end our marriage,” the couple shared via social media in May. “We have three exceptional children and created a foundation around the globe to help all people lead productive, healthy lives over the past 27 years”.
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Although the news of the couple’s separation in May surprised many, other news outlets have reported on previous fractures in Gates’ marriages.
The Times reported that Melinda French Gates expressed concern about her husband’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. This sex offender has since died and filed a harassment complaint against Bill Gates’ longtime money manager.
Since Warren Buffett, a Gates family friend and philanthropist, stepped down in June, Bill and Melinda Gates currently serve as the sole trustees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the Seattle Times, Melinda French Gates could step down as a trustee in two years if she and her ex-husband find it challenging to work together.
The couple’s combined fortune is approximately $124 billion. It includes a 66,000-square foot mansion on Lake Washington in Medina, a suburb of Seattle. The estimated value of the house is close to $150 million.
Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates in 1975. Melinda French, whom he met while working for Microsoft, was their spouse, and they were married in Hawaii in 1994. They founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. Bill Gates is 65 years old, Melinda French Gates is 56, and their three children are young adults.