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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Murdoch divorce finalized

Texas residents may be interested to learn that entertainment and media mogul Rupert Murdoch finalized his divorce from his third wife on Nov. 20. The couple met in a Manhattan court to notify a judge of their decision. They did not release the terms of this high-asset divorce settlement; however, the couple issued a statement confirming that they reached an "amicable" agreement and declined to comment further.

Murdoch, 82 years old, has two prior divorces in addition to four adult children with his previous wives. He and Deng have two young daughters. Deng, 44, is reported to have signed a prenuptial agreement as well as two postnuptial agreements. As a result, it is believed that Murdoch will ultimately pay her less than his second wife. Deng is reportedly retaining possession of the Fifth Avenue apartment where the couple's daughters live; it was purchased in 2005 for $44 million, and the couple later spent approximately $50 million to refurbish it. It was not clear whether this decision was part of the original prenuptial agreement or something that was agreed upon later in order to help reduce the impact of the divorce on the children.

Murdoch's fortune is estimated at approximately $13.4 billion. Murdoch controls both 21st Century Fox and News Corp. through a family trust. The divorce should not affect the ownership or succession of either of these businesses.

When a person prepares to marry, a local family law attorney may be able to help draft a prenuptial agreement to ensure that his or her assets are protected. If the marriage later fails, an attorney may be able to help fight to have the prenuptial agreement upheld or help negotiate a settlement to resolve the divorce amicably.

Source: ABC News, "Rupert Murdoch, Pie-Catching Wife Finalize Divorce", Alan Farnham, November 20, 2013

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