When it comes to high asset divorces, they don’t get much bigger than the one now proceeding between media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his wife, Wendi Deng. Colorado readers have probably heard of Murdoch; as the head of a global media empire that includes News Corporation and 21st Century Fox, Murdoch is one of the wealthiest people in the world. Now Deng has switched attorneys, a move some observers say means the divorce may be turning rancorous. Deng’s new lawyer has represented a number of women who were divorcing wealthy husbands.
The Murdochs had been married for 14 years when he filed divorce papers about a month ago. The couple has two daughters, ages 9 and 11.
The couple’s real estate holdings include a penthouse on New York’s Fifth Avenue and a home in Northern California. They also own a yacht, on which Deng recently vacationed with the couple’s daughters.
When a high-profile couple divorces, the less wealthy spouse needs the best representation they can afford. High asset divorces require an attorney who is experienced with complex asset division and asset valuation issues.
News reports indicate the Murdochs have a prenuptial agreement which has been updated by two postnuptial agreements. Unless Deng can produce evidence that Murdoch did not make a full disclosure of his assets when the agreements were entered into, the court is likely to uphold them. The fact that Deng signed the two postnuptial agreements in addition to the prenup will likely make it more difficult to overturn the agreements, simply because she would have to prove she was taken advantage of three times.
Source: New York Times, “Wendi Murdoch Hires a New Lawyer, Suggesting a Divorce May Turn Messy,” Peter Lattman & Amy Chozick, July 29, 2013