After being married for nearly three decades, the divorce of Bill Gates and Melinda Gates had come as a shocker. The couple disclosed that they would be getting divorced as they could no longer grow together.

The philanthropists, who founded the world-famous foundation that shares their name, said that their charity would not be affected by the split. Even after Bill meticulously used a pros-and-cons list to weigh in on getting married, the couple’s marriage has ended.

The co-founder of Microsoft had been dating his former partner in 1987 before she joined the company as a product manager in the 90s. After years of dating, the couple decided to tie to knot in 1994. On Jan. 1, the couple got married in Hawaii.

However, years before they got hitched, Bill reportedly made a list of the pros and cons of getting married. In “Inside Bill’s Brain”, a 2019 Netflix series, the couple recalled the moment when Melinda walked in to find Bill making the list on a whiteboard. She said that the software developer wanted to get married but was unsure of how he would balance marriage and his role in Microsoft.

In the interview, Bill said that he took marriage seriously so he used the process to decide. As the couple deeply cared for each other, Bill saw only two options, getting married or going their separate ways. They did not reveal what the pros-and-cons listed were.

After the couple got married, Melinda quit her job at Microsoft in 1996, The New York Post reported. The couple took the decision so that she could focus on the family while Bill continued to focus on the company. The couple has three children, 25-year-old Jennifer, 21-year-old Rory and 19-year-old Phoebe.

Even though Melinda stepped away from Microsoft, the couple founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. Following the news of the divorce, the couple confirmed that their roles in the organization would not change.

TMZ reported that it was Melinda who filed for the divorce. It was cited that the 56-year-old woman wanted to end the marriage that was irretrievably broken. According to the divorce documents, the couple had a separation agreement which is likely to be followed as they do not have a prenuptial agreement.

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