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Now thrice divorced, Rupert Murdoch moves on

News first broke of the impending divorce between billionaire Rupert Murdoch and his third wife, Wendi Deng, last June. Married for 14 years, the 82-year-old media mogul and 44-year-old Deng have two children together as well as several luxurious properties. The fate of those assets, as well as the custody of the couple's two daughters, was recently decided as the two agreed to a divorce settlement.

Married and divorced twice before, Murdoch is no stranger to the divorce or divorce settlement process. He also was smart to take steps to protect his massive amounts of wealth and assets both prior to and after marrying his third wife through the use of both a prenuptial agreement and post nuptial agreement.

 

Many of the terms of the couple's settlement were laid out in those legal agreements, most of which have not been publically disclosed. It is, however, known that Deng and her daughters will continue to live in a three-level New York City apartment which the couple purchased eight years ago for a reported $44 million dollars. Additionally, Murdoch is likely to retain possession of a $29 million dollar vineyard estate he purchased last year in California.

While the judge set to approve the couple's divorce settlement applauded both Murdoch and Deng for their ability to remain civil and amicable throughout the divorce process, there was at least one issue that proved contentious. Murdoch has four grown children from his two previous marriages and all four have voting rights in his most notable business ventures. While his two youngest children will have a financial stake equal to that of their older half-siblings, the girls will not have voting rights, a point which is reported to have greatly upset Deng.

High asset divorces are often complex and contentious in nature. Not only must matters related to properties and investment accounts be decided, but there are also often issues related to the division of business assets. For these reasons, wealthy individuals would be advised to seek the advice and guidance of an attorney who has experience helping clients win agreeable divorce settlements.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, "Rupert Murdoch, Wendi Murdoch announce divorce settlement,"Meredith Blake and Meg James, Nov. 20, 2013

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