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Bill Gates and Ms. Melinda: What is happening now with the billion dollar fortune?

This divorce caused a sensation worldwide: Melinda and Bill Gates went their separate ways after 27 years of marriage. What is happening now with the billion dollar fortune of the Microsoft founder? The first documents provide information on this.

On Monday evening, the Gates announced their divorce on Twitter. "We no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple," was the rationale that went around the world. But despite the gigantic fortune, there should be no marriage contract in the Gates house. Instead, the couple is said to have signed a separation agreement.

As the US media "People" and "TMZ" report unanimously, the assets will be divided on the basis of this separation agreement. A court in King County, Washington state will decide on the divorce petition. The divorce was filed by Melinda Gates and is pending in some US media outlets. In it, the billionaire's wife declares that the marriage is "irretrievably broken".

2,000 kilometers separation between Bill and Melinda

The couple already live separately. While Melinda Gates signed the paper in Bellevue, Washington, not far from the joint property, Bill Gates signed in Palm Desert, California. Accordingly, there are now around 2,000 kilometers between the ex-partners.

According to the divorce papers, Melinda Gates is asking the court to dissolve the marriage and accept the separation. A maintenance payment from the spouse is "not required", the document goes on to say. On April 4, 2022, the couple are due to appear in court for the divorce date. However, it is also possible that Melinda and Bill Gates come to an out-of-court settlement.

Gates' assets: more than 108 billion euros

The business magazine "Forbes" ranks Gates in fourth place on the list of the richest people in the world, behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and entrepreneurs Bernard Arnault and Elon Musk. Gates' fortune is currently estimated at the equivalent of more than 108 billion euros.

Many years ago it became known that he and his still-wife Melinda, with whom he has been married since 1994, only wanted to leave the children the equivalent of around 8.5 million euros each - i.e. a fraction of their fortune. In 2013 the entrepreneur explained this decision to "Bild am Sonntag": "My wife and I believe that you are doing your children a disservice if you shower them with money that they have not earned themselves."

Bill and Melinda Gates have three children together: 21-year-old son Rory and their daughters Phoebe and Jennifer, 18 and 25 years old. The latter wrote on Instagram: "It was a challenging period for our entire family", indirectly confirming that Melinda and Bill Gates split up some time ago.

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