Billionaire Rupert Murdoch reaches settlement in third divorce

Readers of our Massachusetts family law blog may be interested to learn that Rupert Murdoch and his estranged wife recently appeared in court to announce they had reached a settlement in their divorce. The announcement was made at a hearing in a Lower Manhattan courtroom. The agreement between the medial mogul and his third wife makes a trial unnecessary and officially puts an end to their 14-year marriage.

Negotiations involving the agreement were relatively straightforward. Marital agreements had been signed by Murdoch and his ex, including a prenuptial agreement and two post-nups. These marital agreements clearly set forth the division of assets in the event of a divorce. Even with the marital agreements firmly in place, the former couple still had to deal with several contentious issues. One of the most pressing issues involved the custody arrangement for their two daughters, ages 10 and 12. Those with knowledge of the content of the agreement say Murdoch’s ex will continue to live in their Fifth Avenue penthouse with their daughters.

Murdoch also has four children from his previous marriages. All his children have an equal interest in a family trust that holds most of the media mogul’s wealth. His wealth is currently estimated to be around $13 billion. Murdoch’s third divorce will not affect the ownership and control of his media empire.

The agreement shows that not all divorces have to involve contentious litigation and drawn-out hearings. An amicable agreement is possible in even the most complicated, high asset divorce cases. Those facing divorce can learn about their legal rights from an experienced Massachusetts Family Law Attorney. Alternatives to the traditional path of litigation such as mediation and arbitration can help streamline the divorce process for many couples.

Source: New York Times, “Rupert and Wendi Murdoch Reach a Divorce Settlement,” Peter Lattman, Nov. 20, 2013