Bill and Melinda Gates' Daughter Jennifer Calls Parents' Divorce 'Challenging Stretch of Time' for the Family

Bill and Melinda Gates
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Jennifer Gates shares a message to her Instagram Story about the surprising split on Monday.

Jennifer Gates is opening up about her parents' divorce. The eldest daughter of Bill and Melinda Gates shared a message with her followers on Monday, shortly after her parents announced they were calling it quits after 27 years of marriage.

"By now, many of you have heard the news that my parents are separating," Jennifer, 25, wrote in a post she shared to her Instagram Story. "It's been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family."

"I'm still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time, and I am grateful for the space to do so," she continued. "I won't personally comment further on anything around the separation, but please know that your kind words and support mean the world to me."

Jennifer went on to thank her friends and followers for "understanding our desire for privacy while we navigate the next phases of our lives."

Jennifer Gates/Instagram

Bill and Melinda -- who also share 21-year-old son Rory and 18-year-old daughter Phoebe -- announced their split with a joint statement on Monday

"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," the statement reads. "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. 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."

According to court documents obtained by ET, Bill and Melinda have a separation contract and are asking for the court to divide their debts and liabilities, real property and personal property as set forth in the separation contract. No spousal support is being requested. Their court date is set for April 4, 2022.

"This marriage is irretrievably broken," the court documents read. "We ask the court to dissolve our marriage and find that our marital community ended on the date stated in our separation contract."