It is widely reported in the newspapers that “media mogul” Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce in New York. He and his wife, Wendi Deng, have been married for about 14 years and have 2 Children together.
There is much speculation about Mr Murdoch’s wealth and reports about the amount he purportedly paid to his second wife when they Divorced after 31 years of marriage. The figures are eye-watering to say the least. Unsurprisingly, there is talk about how much the present Mrs Murdoch will receive by way of settlement, although it is understood that there is a Pre-nuptial Agreement, the terms of which will have a very significant bearing on any claims Ms Deng may have.
Pre-nuptial agreements have long been the subject of comment in this blog and elsewhere. Some jurisdictions allow them, others will not. No doubt, Mr Murdoch has been well advised to issue in New York. Had he issued in the English courts then any pre-nuptial agreement would be considered by the court but not necessarily followed. Here, pre-nups need to be entered into by a couple who do so willingly, with full disclosure and independent legal advice. They should also be concluded well in advance of the wedding to stand any chance of recognition.
Whatever the reasons behind the Couple’s Split (described as apparently “jaw-dropping” in certain quarters), the media will follow the story with avid interest, given the personalities involved. No doubt, we will all have to hold the front page…
By Family Law Solicitor Ed Kitchen.