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Murdoch divorce pending


Posted on behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Nov 22, 2013 in Property Division

Connecticut spouses may squabble over their assets while they are divorcing, but most don't have to worry about how to decide who gets a mansion worth close to $100 million. However, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his third wife recently had to grapple over this problem and other property division matters during their recent divorce negotiations.

The property in question is a sprawling penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. It was purchased about eight years ago for $44 million by the couple who over time poured about $50 million into the property in remodeling projects and furnishings. Murdoch filed for divorce in June, and the two have now reportedly reached a settlement. He has agreed to relinquish his property rights to the home so that their two young daughters can reside there with their mother. Murdoch will keep a Beverly Hills estate and retain possession of a 16-acre vineyard that he purchased this summer for almost $29 million and that contains a mansion that is 8,000 square feet and 16 acres of lush gardens.

The mogul maintains a tight grip on his entertainment and media holdings through a family trust. This is not expected to change due to any provision in the divorce settlement, which a New York judge must approve before the divorce is finalized. His four adult children from his two prior marriages will apparently remain the trust's sole residual beneficiaries.

While not every divorce involves a high-profile couple with substantial assets, many present issues relating to property division or support payments that can be obstacles to reaching a quick resolution. An attorney may be able to negotiate and prepare a settlement agreement that will incorporate a client's objectives.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Rupert Murdoch finalizing divorce; Wendi Murdoch keeps NY apartment", November 19, 2013