Rupert Murdoch Seeking “Quick, Quiet Divorce”
News of Rupert Murdoch’s divorce from wife of 14 years, Wendi Deng Murdoch, continues to make headlines around the world, but don’t expect to learn the finer details of this high profile divorce anytime soon. As the Huffington Post and other media outlets are report, all signs point to the media mogul seeking a “quiet divorce” out of the spotlight.
But how exactly do you do this when you are the executive chairman of News Corp . . . and your name is practically synonymous with the news? Here are three ways the couple appear to making their divorce relatively drama-free:
Murdoch filed for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Filing for a “no fault divorce” means that he‘s not blaming his wife for the divorce; he’s simply stating that he and Deng have grown apart to the point where the marriage isn’t salvageable (it is “irretrievably y broken”). With a no-fault divorce, neither spouse needs to point the finger at the other with allegations of bad conduct, such as cheating or drug abuse, so there’s no need to air this dirty laundry in court.
The couple signed prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements. The Murdochs signed a prenuptial agreement before they wed in 1999, and two post-nuptial agreements in 2002 and 2004. Prenuptial agreements are designed to protect assets that both parties bring to the marriage and can plan for the future in the event of divorce, including pre-deciding such issues as spousal support. Post-nuptial agreements typically concern assets acquired after marriage, especially if one spouse begins earning more money or takes on a new business venture.
Murdoch hired a divorce attorney skilled at reaching out-of-court settlements. If you are going to wage an all-court battle, it’s always a good idea to make sure the lawyer you choose is a skilled litigator. But if you want to keep your business out of the court room — or have a choice? Find an attorney who is also skilled and experienced at reaching out-of-court settlements through methods of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration.
Will Murdoch be successful in achieving a quick, quiet divorce? Only time will tell. However, it does seem like he learned his lesson from his second divorce, when he divorced his wife of 32 years, Anna Murdoch, and paid out a divorce settlement of $1.7 billion dollars. The key difference between that divorce and this one? The couple never signed a prenuptial agreement.