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Bill Gates, Melinda French officially divorced

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The divorce between Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, cofounders of one of the world’s largest private charitable foundations, was finalised on Monday, a court document showed.

The couple filed for divorce on May 3, after 27 years of marriage, but pledged to continue their philanthropic work together. They said at the time they had reached an agreement on how to divide their marital assets.

No details of that agreement were disclosed in the final divorce order filed on Monday in King County Superior Court in Seattle, United States, Reuters news agency reported.

The court did not issue money, property or spousal support judgments in the divorce. It said the couple must comply with the terms of the separation contract, which was not filed in King County Superior Court.

The Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has become one of the most powerful and influential forces in global public health, spending more than $50bn over the past two decades to bring a business approach to combating poverty and disease.

The Gateses have backed a widely praised programme in malaria and polio eradication, child nutrition and vaccines. The foundation last year committed some $1.75bn to COVID-19 relief.

Bill, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, and Melinda, an author and businesswoman, had announced their decision to separate in early May in an identical statement posted on their individual Twitter accounts.

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