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New York Divorce: Murdoch Style

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Rupert Murdoch by Eva Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons

Rupert Murdoch by Eva Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons

Third time’s a charm, unless you’re Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch, the 82-year-old recently named the 91st richest man in the world, just closed a deal with his third ex-wife Wendi Deng Murdoch, 44, ending their 14-year marriage after initially filing in June.

“We are pleased to announce that we have reached an amicable settlement of all matters relating to our divorce,” the couple said in a joint statement. “We move forward with mutual respect and a shared interest in the health and happiness of our two daughters. We will not comment on this any further.”

But they didn’t need to comment any further. The final settlement was released on the first of December with Deng walking away with their $44 million New York apartment. Her divorce settlement also landed Deng her former husband’s pad in Beijing and one of his two coveted yachts.

That’s not to say he lost it all. Murdoch, who already has four adult children from previous marriages, was able to hold onto most of his greatest assets, including his major institutions such as News Corp., most of his homes all over the world, a yacht as well as his private jets.

New York chapter president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Michael Stutman told Yahoo! News that New York has become a hotspot for high-end couples such as Murdoch’s to untie the knot.

“It’s favored not only for the deference it gives to prenuptial agreements, but also because it’s one of only a few states where the divorce filings are not open to the public,” he said in the report. “You can’t go to the county clerk’s office and pull out the Murdoch divorce file. In California, it’s all public record. All the juicy stuff is there.”

Reports outlined their final court proceedings as quick and seamless, which Stutman said could partly have been attributed to the couple’s prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. That’s also why they might have chosen to forgo a trial and move ahead with a speedy settlement.

“I’m glad you’ve been able to resolve these matters amicably,” Judge Ellen Gesmer told the cordial and collected couple at their settlement, the LA Times reported. “Good luck to both of you.”

The specific terms of their split, however, were sealed, as New York remains one of the few states nationwide where divorce filings are kept private and out of the public eye.

Since New York is defined as an equitable distribution state in marriage law, all assets are typically distributed in a somewhat equal fashion, unless a prenuptial agreement declares otherwise. Legal experts have historically favored entering into prenuptial agreements to avoid any ugly proceedings if the marriage fails.

In Murdoch’s case, that seemed to help move things along, which made sense, seeing as it was the third time the billionaire said, “I do.” Murdoch’s second divorce with Anna Maria Torv in June of 1999 saw his former bride walking away with a $1.7 billion settlement—one of the largest in history.

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December 30th, 2013 at 9:35 am

Posted in Divorce

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