And Bill Gates and his wife Melinda announced, in a joint statement, that they had made a decision to end their 27-year marriage, and requested that their privacy be respected as they move to a new life.
According to Bloomberg, this divorce puts a fortune of $ 146 billion on the line, because Melinda will take a large share of it.
And in 2019, the founder of the “Amazon” company, Jeff Bezos, had given his ex-girlfriend 4 percent of the giant company’s shares, which was estimated at the time at $ 38 billion.
Bill Gates and his wife have enormous wealth that includes real estate, stocks, companies and organizations in health, climate change and social affairs.
But the couple expressed their intention to continue doing the charitable work that they have been generously supporting, for years.
Bill Gates, who is 65 years old, is the fourth richest person in the world, and has emerged in charitable work and donation through the “Bill and Melinda Gates” organization, which has previously provided more than $ 50 billion.
A statement issued by the organization’s spokesperson confirmed that Bill and Melinda will continue to run the organization, which is active in charitable work worldwide.
Opinion of the law
The couple filed for divorce in King County, Washington state, but the papers that were submitted to the court did not reveal any financial arrangements, and spoke of an “consensual” separation that could not be reversed.
Experts believe that the financial arrangements in the divorce of Gates and Melinda will be more complicated compared to Jeff Bezos, because the wealth of the Amazon founder and his ex-wife was concentrated in one company.
On the other hand, the wealth of Bill Gates and his wife Melinda is divided between several companies, real estate and projects, which means that the division will not be easy.
Microsoft no longer represents less than 20 percent of Bill Gates’s assets, and his stake was not announced specifically after he left the company’s board of directors last year.
Monica Mozzi, a lawyer specializing in divorce cases, says that the settlement between the spouses depends on the extent of their agreement on joint work between them in the future.
She added that based on her experience in the courts, even in the most amicable divorce cases, “the sharing formula is used, so that each party is independent.”
But Washington state family attorney Janet George says it is not necessary for a 50-50 split to take place.
She added that the court will assume the estimate, according to what it deems fair, and indicated that the details may not be finally out to the public, because they may be concluded through private contracts.
In Washington state, spouses are granted a period of 90 days to file for divorce, in order to provide an opportunity for reconsideration, after which the judge proceeds with the proceedings.