Thursday, August 11, 2022
Home Business Plan Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates Finalize Divorce

Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates Finalize Divorce

The divorce between Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates is now final.

A judge for the King County Superior Court in Washington State signed the dissolution decree on Monday, ending the 27-year marriage between the co-founders of the influential Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation while leaving the details of how the couple divided one of the largest fortunes in history shrouded in mystery.

Public filings showed that billions of dollars of shares were transferred into Ms. French Gates’s name following the public announcement in May of their plan to divorce. Forbes now estimates Ms. French Gates’s net worth at $3.2 billion, though it could be much higher. The magazine estimates Mr. Gates’s net worth at $131 billion.

The separation agreement that determined the split of assets was “not filed with the court,” according to a notation scrawled in blue ink on one of the court documents. It remained unclear, for instance, who will receive their 66,000-square-foot lakefront estate in the Seattle suburbs.

The couple’s three children are all over 18, so there was no custody arrangement necessary. The court document said that neither party had asked to make a formal name change, though Ms. French Gates has been publicly using her family name together with her married name since they separated.

In contrast, when Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott divorced, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailed how Mr. Bezos would keep three-quarters of the couple’s shares of Amazon, while Ms. Scott would hold onto the rest, which came to 4 percent of the company.

The largest outstanding question is how, or indeed whether, the divorced couple can work together at their enormous charity. Both Mr. Gates and Ms. French Gates have insisted that they will continue to work on behalf of the foundation’s shared mission in areas including global health, poverty reduction and gender equality.

Last month they announced that they had given an additional $15 billion to the foundation, adding to its $50 billion endowment, which already made it by most measures the largest private charitable foundation in the world. The chief executive of the Gates Foundation, Mark Suzman, also said the foundation would add new outside trustees, a step toward better governance that philanthropy experts had urged for years.

At the same time, Mr. Suzman said that Mr. Gates and Ms. French Gates had agreed that if either person found after two years that they could not work together Ms. French Gates would leave the foundation, receiving funds from Mr. Gates to pursue her own charitable endeavors.

Ms. French Gates signed her part of the divorce papers on Friday at the offices of her own organization, Pivotal Ventures, an enterprise focused on gender equality and social progress.

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

Most Popular

Jamie Ellacott facing more sexual assault charges linked to Lethbridge gymnastics facility

Lethbridge police have laid additional charges of sexual assault against a local gymnastics coach. This time, they involve three more children who attended the...

Assiniboine Park releases more than 200 endangered butterflies

Assiniboine Park Conservancy has set a new record by releasing more than 200 endangered butterflies back into the Manitoba landscape. “We are thrilled with the...

Over 600 flights cancelled in the U.S. as thunderstorms hit Texas

Airlines canceled more than 600 flights in the United States on Thursday morning, as thunderstorms in Texas disrupted operations at one of the busiest...

‘Earthy or musty’ water still safe to drink, Durham Region says

Durham Region says the local water supply remains safe to drink despite “possible earthy or musty odours detected recently.” The region said in a post...