In what may be the most expensive divorce ever, News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from his wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch. The couple had been married since 1999 and has had a high-profile relationship. They are probably best known for Wendi’s staunch defense of News Corp’s actions in the United Kingdon, where it was accused of spying on individuals in order obtain news stories.
In fact, Wendi famously blocked a protester from throwing a pie into Rupert’s face.
Despite the breakdown of the relationship, much of the speculation has surrounded the potential financial settlement. Murdoch’s divorce from his second wife cost him nearly 1.7 billion. As the proceedings mature, more information will arise regarding the parties’ settlement, but USA Today reports that Murdoch’s voting shares are held by a family trust. This means that they may not be considered part of the parties’ marital estate.
The speculation exemplifies a growing trend in asset protection with high-net worth individuals who get married. Trusts give such individuals the protection they need, without the aggravation (and insecurity) that comes with creating a prenuptial agreement.
The couples’ children are also reportedly beneficiaries to non-voting shares from News Corp and Wendi reportedly has a number of such shares as well. These could take a prominent role in the impending financial settlement.
It is unknown whether the divorce has affected News Corp’s upcoming split.
In the meantime, high-net worth individuals can learn more about this type of asset protection by communicating with an experienced family law attorney.
Source: USA Today.com, Rupert Murdoch files for divorce, June 13, 2013