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Murdoch split highlights difficulties in high net-worth divorces

Most Massachusetts couples involved in the dissolution of their marriage do not have to deal with complex property division. Most divorcing couples do not have millions in assets to consider. For those couples such as Rupert and Wendi Murdoch who are currently involved in a high net-worth divorce, the issues can become more complex and may require greater amounts of time and negotiation to resolve.

Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul is ending his 14 year marriage to his wife. In spite of legal contracts drawn up prior to the marriage (pre-nuptial) and during the marriage (post-nuptial) there are still many issues that will need to be resolved. The couple had two children during the course of the marriage. Accordingly, custody and visitation will have to be determined. Family trusts that have been created may need to have new administrators selected, and marital assets outside the scope of post-nuptial agreements will need to be divided fairly.

Although discussions regarding the division of property and schedules of assets are all very impersonal and business-oriented, it should be remembered that a divorce is not often just the dissolution of an economic relationship. Frequently, strong emotions play a part in the success or failure of negotiations and proposed divorce settlements. Money issues aside, it is still the deconstruction of a family and therefore should be handled with care and respect for the feelings of all those involved.

Those in Massachusetts who, like the Wendy and Rupert Murdoch, are dealing with a high net-worth divorce often have difficult decisions to make. They face unique challenges in resolving both family and financial issues. Special mediation may be needed as well as the intervention of the court in deciding issues related to child custody, child support and implementation of pre and postnuptial agreements.

Source: The New York Times, "Wendi Murdoch Hires a New Lawyer, Suggesting a Divorce May Turn Messy," Peter Lattman and Amy Chozick, July 29, 2013

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