Property division and divorce, billionaire-style

On behalf of Loughmiller Higgins, Attorneys at Law posted in Divorce on Friday, June 21, 2013.

The recently announced divorce between 82-year-old media king Rupert Murdoch and his 44-year-old wife have many in both the entertainment and financial worlds eager to speculate about the outcome. There is no word on whether a prenuptial agreement is in place within the marriage. This is Murdoch’s third marriage, however, so many in Texas would assume that he has adequately protected his assets from the property division losses associated with divorce.

With a net worth estimated at $11.2 billion, there is plenty for the couple to debate when it comes to the property division portion of the divorce process. In addition, News Corp., Murdoch’s company, could suffer adverse effects should Murdoch’s business holdings be subjected to a division of assets. A great many employees rely on News Corp. for their livelihoods, and are likely watching this divorce closely.

For Texas business owners who wish to protect their own business interests from divorce-related losses, it is important to understand the available options. The best approach is to sit down with one’s future husband or wife and have a frank and open discussion about the benefits of drafting a prenuptial agreement. For couples who are already married, it is possible to create a postnuptial agreement, but the leveraging power of the business owner is seriously limited in such cases, due to the fact that the marriage is already in place.

Creating and sustaining a profitable business is a substantial accomplishment, regardless of whether one’s net worth is measured in the billions or far more modestly. Business owners often dedicate a large portion of their lives to achieving success in their endeavors, and the fear of losing a large portion of those assets in a divorce proceeding is often overwhelming. While it is impossible to turn back time, individuals who own their own business should make every effort to protect their assets against the realities of a potential property division process.

Source: Entrepreneur.com, “Why Rupert Murdoch’s Divorce Is a Wakeup Call for Business Owners,” Leah Ingram, June 17, 2013

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