Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates Finalize Divorce — and She's Keeping His Last Name
On Monday, a King County judge approved the couple's divorce, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
The marriage dissolution documents also state that Melinda will not be changing her name or receiving any spousal support.
Reps for Bill and Melinda did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
The former couple announced their separation in May. Court documents filed by Melinda at the time called their marriage "irretrievably broken."
"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, referring to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which they founded in 2000 and is now worth over $40 billion.
"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 concluded in the statement.
The billionaire Microsoft co-founder, 65, and the philanthropist and former general manager at Microsoft, 56, married on the Hawaiian island of Lanai on Jan. 1, 1994. They share three children: son Rory John, 21, and daughters Phoebe Adele, 18, and Jennifer Katharine, 25.
While they have said they plan to continue working together, Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, revealed earlier this month that the Gateses had reached an agreement in which Melinda will step down if, after two years, either she or Bill decides they can no longer work together.
"They have repeatedly made clear their joint commitment and expectation to remain long-term partners and co-chairs," Suzman wrote. "However, as an additional step, they have agreed that if after two years either one of them decides that they cannot continue to work together, Melinda will resign as co-chair and trustee. In such a case, Melinda would receive personal resources from Bill for her philanthropic work. These resources would be completely separate from the foundation's endowment, which would not be affected."
Suzman said that in the time since their split, he, Bill and Melinda have been "exploring potential changes to the foundation's governance and decision-making."
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Among those changes are the former couple's two-year agreement, as well as the decision to expand the number of trustees, as they are currently the only two following the resignation of Warren Buffett last month.
Bill and Melinda also plan to contribute an additional $15 million to the foundation's endowment, which will bring its total endowment to about $65 billion, Suzman said.