Rupert Murdoch, media mogul who has a significant ownership interest in 21st Century Fox and the publishing company News Corp., filed for divorce from his third wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, in June. However, the couple has nearly finalized their divorce. The anticipated settlement contains provisions related to his media holdings as well as properties in California and New York.
Murdoch and his wife were married for 14 years. They have two minor daughters together while Murdoch has four adult children from his prior two marriages. About 38 percent of the 21st Century Fox and News Corp. voting stock is owned by the Murdoch Family Trust which will ultimately be given to Murdoch’s four adult children. However, that ownership interest is not expected to change due to the divorce, even though this apparently was a point of contention during the settlement negotiations. Additionally, Murdoch is expected to retain his primary residence in New York, as well as two large pieces of property in California.
The couple’s two daughters will reportedly reside with their mother in a penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue that was purchased for over $40 million eight years ago. The couple subsequently invested another $50 million into the property. Although the Murdochs have reached a settlement, a New York judge who is presiding over the case has to approve it before it can be finalized. A court hearing has been scheduled in the matter that can bring the 14-year marriage to its ultimate end.
A high asset couple that has decided to get divorced will likely wish to retain separate counsel. A family law attorney may be able to provide advice about ways to protect certain assets during the divorce process and methods that can help achieve this goal.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Rupert Murdoch finalizing divorce; Wendi Murdoch keeps NY apartment“, Meg James, November 19, 2013