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How will Bill and Melinda Gates split their billions after divorce?


How will Bill and Melinda Gates split their billions after divorce?


Bill and Melinda Gates, who have steered one of history’s greatest fortunes and philanthropic enterprises for decades, have announced their intention to divorce.

The couple made the announcement in a joint statement on Tuesday, announcing that they had been struggling to preserve their friendship for quite some time.

What they said

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the pair said.

“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.

“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.


“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”

They were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 and were named Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year in 2005 for their philanthropic efforts.

According to Forbes, Bill Gates is the world’s fourth wealthiest person, with a net wealth of $US130.5 billion.

He was once the world’s wealthiest man, but he lost the status after contributing money to charitable causes.

Their foundation was active in the global response to COVID-19 this past year, contributing $1.75 billion to aid in the development and distribution of vaccinations.

The news that the pair is divorcing after 27 years of marriage could impact the software sector, a large portfolio of corporate and real estate interests, and into the fields of public health, climate change politics, and social concerns such as women’s equality.

The Gates’ divorce comes two years after Jeff Bezos, another high-profile billionaire, finalized his divorce from MacKenzie Scott, his wife of 25 years.

The divorce resulted in a huge payout. Mr. Bezos granted Ms. Scott a quarter of their Amazon joint shares, valued at $US32 billion at the time.

It’s anticipated that the Gates settlement would surpass it.

Most property gained after a marriage is presumed to belong jointly to the partners and is shared evenly in the event of a divorce, under Washington state law.

Under this rule, though, couples may agree that such properties are separate property, allowing only one of them to possess them.

The couple gave no indication of their financial plans in public, but they did say they would work together to continue their philanthropy.

According to an online scan of court dockets, the pair applied for divorce in King County on Monday. According to a transcript of a divorce petition listed on the website TMZ, they have a separation agreement, but the details aren’t specified. It describes their relationship as “irretrievably broken.”

Bill Gates’ net wealth began with Microsoft, but the company’s stock now accounts for fewer than 20% of his total assets. Over the years, he’s shifted a large portion of his stake into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, though his exact stake hasn’t been revealed after he quit Microsoft’s board last year.

Cascade Investment, which Gates established with the profits of Microsoft stock sales and dividends and is managed by Michael Larson, is Gates’ most valuable asset. Gates has investments in real estate, oil, and hospitality by Cascade, as well as holdings in scores of public corporations, including Canadian National Railway and Deere & Company.

They are seeking division of joint assets, according to a separation agreement they have reached.

They reside in a custom mansion near Microsoft’s headquarters in Lake Washington, near Seattle, that is valued at $US140 million.

Bill and Melinda have always referred to each other as “equal partners” so a 50:50 division is a possibility.

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