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Rupert Murdoch finalizes divorce with third wife

Florida residents may remember hearing in June 2013 that Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox and News Corp., filed for divorce from his third wife of 14 years. Now the media mogul is finalizing the divorce with a negotiated settlement. The terms of the settlement have not been released to the public, but there are some rumors as to how the assets are being divided.

Murdoch is said to be keeping his homes in California, including the Beverly Hills estate and Moraga Vineyards in Bel-Air. He also plans to keep his primary New York residence. His estranged wife is said to be keeping the luxurious penthouse apartment that the couple bought in Manhattan eight years ago. After the $44 million purchase, the couple spent up to $50 million remodeling and furnishing the penthouse. Murdoch is said to want his two young daughters to stay in the home with their mother.

Not everything about the negotiated settlement has been easy for the Murdochs to agree on. One touchy subject is said to have been the company shares that the Murdoch Family Trust controls. It holds 38 percent of both News Corp. and 21st Century Fox, which will be divided between Murdoch's four older children, whom he had during his two previous marriages. His third wife was angry at him years ago for refusing to add her two daughters into the structure.

In divorce cases such as the Murdochs', it is important for both the husband and wife to know the value of every asset and of the incomes in their marriage. Lawyers who work on high net worth divorce cases could help their clients discover and valuate all marriage assets, including offshore assets, stock options, hidden assets and real estate. It may be important for both spouses to work with an attorney to work out the details of each asset division.

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

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