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Rupert Murdoch's high-profile divorce settlement

According to insiders, media titan Rupert Murdoch is finalizing the terms of his divorce from his wife of 14 years, Wendy Deng Murdoch. Connecticut residents may not have known that among their high-asset real estate holdings, the Murdochs own a vineyard and mansion in Bel Air worth $29 million, a penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue purchased for $44 million from Laurance Rockefeller, and a Beverly Hills estate.

According to individuals with knowledge of the matter, Murdoch has relinquished the Fifth Avenue penthouse as part of the asset division as this is the residence of his daughters with Wendy Deng Murdoch, but he does plan to maintain a residence in New York City. Murdoch also has four adult children from two prior marriages. A court hearing is planned in New York to obtain approval for the settlement.

A sticking point in the high-profile couple's divorce dispute has been the Murdoch Family Trust. The trust leaves a 38 percent voting interest in Murdoch companies 21st Century Fox and News Corp. to be divided among Murdoch's four adult children, excluding the younger daughters of Murdoch and Wendy Deng Murdoch. Mr. Murdoch has thus far declined to amend the trust to include his younger offspring with the current Mrs. Murdoch.

No one gets married planning to divorce, but the reality is that marriages sometimes break up despite the best intentions. In instances of high-asset divorce, a lawyer may be helpful when determining the asset valuation of the marital property and obtaining an equitable asset division. An attorney may help provide guidance with the complex division of pensions, 401(k) accounts, offshore accounts, property interests and business assets.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Rupert Murdoch finalizing divorce; Wendi Murdoch keeps NY apartment", Meg James, November 19, 2013

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