Court documents show that she will not be changing her name following the split or receive any spousal support from Bill.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 3, 2021. It has since been updated.
Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates are now officially divorced.
Court documents showed that the divorce of the co-founders of one of the world’s largest private charitable foundations was finalized on August 2, 2021. The ex-couple shocked the world with the announcement of their separation in early May, after nearly three decades of marriage.
A King County Superior Court judge in Seattle had approved the Gateses' divorce, PEOPLE said, citing documents it had obtained. The legal paperwork, however, showed that while the two may not be married anymore, Melinda has chosen not to change her last name, and instead, will retain the Gates title.
While Bill and Melinda chose to end their 27-year marriage after it was "irretrievably broken," they have pledged to continue their philanthropic work together at their namesake trust, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In the final arbitration from Monday, the court also did not issue money, property, or spousal support judgments, according to Reuters, adding that the pair must comply with the terms of the separation contract that was not filed in King County.
When the Gateses filed for divorce in May, they said that they had reached an agreement on how to divide their marital assets. No details of that agreement were disclosed in the final divorce order, Reuters said.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the most powerful and influential forces in global public health. The couple has backed widely-praised programs in malaria, polio eradication, child nutrition, and vaccines.
The foundation, which has spent more than $50 billion over the past two decades to combat poverty and disease, last year committed nearly $1.75 billion towards COVID-19 relief, according to Reuters.
In July, the foundation's chief executive, Mark Suzman, said that following their divorce, Bill and Melinda will continue to work together at the organization, which they gave an additional $15 billion in resources, and will add new independent trustees, the New York Times said.
However, the report added that if over the next two years they can’t find a way to work together following their divorce, Bill would get full custody of the foundation they have often referred to as their "fourth child."
They share three children: son Rory John, 21, and daughters Phoebe Adele, 18, and Jennifer Katharine, 25.
"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. 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," they wrote in a joint statement on social media on May 3.
"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," Bill and Melinda concluded.
Bill, 65, who co-founded Microsoft, and Melinda, 56, met after she joined the software giant as a product manager, Reuters said. They dated for a few years before marrying in January 1994 in Hawaii and founded their charitable venture in 2000.
Over the years, Melinda has also positioned herself, in a solo capacity, as an activist for women's rights. In 2015, she founded Pivotal Ventures, an investment company focused on women and families, according to Reuters. Her 2019 book, The Moment of Lift, is centered on issues of female empowerment.
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