Melinda French Gates to keep her name as divorce from husband Bill finalised

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Mrs French Gates said she did not request any spousal support - Reuters
Mrs French Gates said she did not request any spousal support - Reuters

Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates’ divorce has been finalised, according to court documents which reveal Melinda has chosen to keep her name.

Mrs French Gates’ petition for divorce stated that the couple’s relationship was “irretrievably broken” after 27 years.

The divorce paperwork filed on Monday said that 56-year-old Ms French Gates would not be changing her name and did not request any spousal support, which she said was "not necessary".

The couple first announced their divorce in a joint statement in May, saying they no longer "believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives."

"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," they said in the statement. "Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives."

Filings

The Microsoft co-founder and his wife, who launched the world's largest charitable foundation, said they would continue to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. - PA
The Microsoft co-founder and his wife, who launched the world's largest charitable foundation, said they would continue to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. - PA

made since the divorce announcement show that Mr Gates’ holding company Cascade Investment has transferred a number of shares to Mrs French Gates.

Both have agreed to continue to run The Gates Foundation together following their divorce. The foundation’s assets have been valued at nearly $50 billion, according to its financial statements.

According to the couple, if after two years they decide they cannot continue in their roles, Ms French Gates will resign her positions as co-chair and trustee. Mr Gates, 65, would buy her out of the foundation and she would receive resources from him to do her own philanthropic work as part of the agreement.

It was revealed last week that Mrs French Gates had joined with MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, to launch a $40 million (£32m) initiative to gender equality projects in tech, higher education, caregiving and minority communities.

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