Understanding What Happens to Your Money in Divorce Proceedings

Rupert Murdoch has recently filed for divorce from Wendi Deng, his third wife. Even though it is unknown what caused the marriage of 14 years to end, people have speculated for months about the relationship of the couple. Deng, who is Chinese-born and Yale-educated, is accomplished on her own before ever marrying Murdoch, but that didn’t stop people from dubbing her as a gold digger.

Since the 82-year-old Murdoch runs a powerful conglomerate in terms of media, many people wonder what is going to come of his fortune. When you consider he has 20th Century Fox, Sky News Service, Fox Television, the Wall Street Journal, Harper Collins Publishing and many others, you can easily see just how much he is worth financially. Even though Deng stayed out of the public eye for much of their marriage, everyone wonders what the legal precedent is now that the divorce is underway.Shortly after they wed, Murdoch announced that Deng was going to step down from her role at News Corp. in Hong Kong. She never fully left the media world. She would attend meetings with Murdoch and his son to make sure everything went smoothly. During their marriage, she had two girls with Murdoch. He has four other children from his other two marriages.

According to her Yale profile, she is the co-founder of Big Feet Productions, which is an independent studio based in East London making games and applications for Apple. The divorce would effectively end Deng and Murdoch’s union and set a battle into motion for how much of the fortune she and the children are going to receive. His recent fortune was estimated at more than $11 billion. The showdown comes at a bad time for News Corp. They recently approved plans to split operations between two publicly traded companies.

Since Murdoch is the largest shareholder in the company, he will be the chairman of the two new enterprises. It is not yet known whether there was a prenuptial agreement signed between Deng and Murdoch before they were married. Even if there is, no one knows where it was filed at. Most people assume there was documentation filed to protect Murdoch’s fortune, especially when there was so much to lose.

Depending upon where the paperwork was filed, individual states will choose whether the terms are unfair or unconscionable and proceed with upholding the prenuptial agreement or making their own amendments to the document. Other countries may have their own set of rules and restrictions, but in the United States, things would be handled in the aforementioned manner.

A prenuptial agreement can do a lot for protecting the best interest of the parties involved, but the court and legal system will determine whether they are going to overturn the agreement or uphold it. In the end, lawyers and the legal system are the ones going to make the arguments and final decisions on what is going to happen. A trained lawyer will be able to fight in the best interest of the parties involved.

Gray divorce is increasing

Over the past couple of decades, divorce rates among people over 50 years old have doubled in the US.  When individuals who are middle-aged or older get divorced, sometimes it’s a step they planned for years; they’ve waited, for instance, for their children to leave the house first.  In other cases, they never anticipated that their marriages would end and that they’d need to make major adjustments to their lives at a point when they thought they’d have more stability. In any case, open attitudes about divorce, and frequent coverage in the media have created a more permissive environment for divorce. Ages ago people expected to go to their grave within the same marriage. Now it is more acceptable to start a new life at any age.

A ‘gray divorce,’ such as it’s sometimes called, poses its own unique challenges.  One major issue that comes up is how to divide the assets that the couple has built up together over the years.  Whereas younger people who get divorced sometimes don’t even own a home or have much in the way of savings, it’s more typical for an older and established couple to have their own home, more substantial savings and a wider variety of accounts, and funds set aside for retirement and medical expenses.  What are the criteria for an equitable split of assets? Which assets are less desirable? These questions will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis by expert lawyers, to be sure that both parties are receiving fair treatment. Another issue is directly related to the age of the divorcing couple; they do not have time to correct for major mistakes in a division of assets.

Other issues involve changing the will and making other alterations to estate planning.  For instance, one spouse may have designated the other to make important life-or-death medical decisions for them in the event that they’re mentally incapacitated; with the divorce, they may want to give someone else these powers, such as an adult child.  Beneficiaries listed in a will could also change, and you’d need to revise your estate planning in light of the assets you’re left with after the divorce.

Other adjustments may be social. You may feel cut adrift from the circle of friends that you shared with your spouse.  If you need to move to a new home, you may feel as if your life is starting over again.  And if you’re unused to living alone, it may take you time to adjust to doing various things by yourself.  One important consideration to make is that if you have little experience working on personal finances, and tended to leave such matters to your spouse, you’ll need to learn quickly to manage them so that you don’t get taken advantage of.

When undergoing a divorce in the later years of your life, be sure to have a good attorney on your side, so that your best interests will be met.  You don’t want to harm yourself, and ruin your chances of stability in the golden years of your life, by agreeing to a divorce settlement that’s unfavorable to you.

 

Solve Your Divorce Issues by Choosing the Best Family Lawyer

Divorce and other family issues can get very frustrating and messy. Whether you are going through an uncontested or contested divorce, some matters will arise that will need an expert to resolve them. Some couples may consider representing themselves during the divorce proceedings, but the presence and services of a family lawyer can significantly reduce the stress and problems that might occur during the procedure.

Family lawyers can not only represent you in the court but also provide legal assistance and advice to both parties in order to settle divorce issues. Simply put, the services of a family lawyer can help ensure that all decisions pertaining to the divorce are made properly and with the acceptance of both parties.  Here are some ways in which family lawyers help:

Providing legal advice on annulments and divorce

A family lawyer can offer legal advice and explanations of the circumstances under which a couple may seek divorce after a separation. Some states have laws that require for the filing of annulment under certain situations and within a certain period of time after the marriage, and a family lawyer’s advice and services are needed to understand and follow these laws.

Making all the courthouse presentations and filings

There are various laws at federal, state, and municipal levels regarding divorce proceedings and filings, and a family lawyer can ensure that the necessary pleadings and documents are filed properly. They can also represent you in court and put in favorable light through beneficial evidence and testimony, as well as prevent your spouse from presenting irrelevant, false, or misleading information.

Assistance during property division proceedings

It helps to maintain separate debts and accounts as some amount of protection during a divorce, but it is not enough. There are several federal and state laws that define marital property and the separation of this property, and your family lawyer can not only explain these laws but also tell you how it applies to your particular situation.

Helping through child custody and visitation proceedings

Child custody and visitation issues are determined by the various laws and procedures in various states, and family lawyers can explain the procedure in your state, what the laws are, and what your parenting rights are after entering a court order.

Guiding you through child support issues

Once again, the rules and procedures for determining the child support obligations of the non-custodial parent can vary with each state. Your family lawyer can advise about the procedure in your state and the calculations used to determine child support obligations. He or she can also explain the additions and deductions that can be expected to your child support obligation.

About the author: Guest post from a family law blogger – find services of a family lawyer here