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Learning lessons from the divorce process of the rich and famous

The divorce process is never easy and the more affluent the couple involved, the more difficult settlement negotiations can become. However, in the case of Rupert Murdoch, the wealthy CEO of The News Corporation, and his wife Wendy, their divorce process is not likely to be reported much in the news. Unlike many Florida couples, these two have gone through divorces before. Since they have had prior experience with the divorce process, it may help out of court settlement proceedings go smoother and be more successful.

However, if their out of court settlement negotiations fall apart, we will likely hear a lot about this high profile divorce process in the news. If details come to light, there may be some things we can learn from this couple's example. That includes lessons in the area of post-marital agreements and how to divide assets. 

Reports indicate that the Murdoch's had signed a prenuptial agreement and later modified that contract with a couple of postnuptial agreements. Postnups can be helpful to clarify the terms of a prenup, particularly in situations where the prenup is quite old. Financial circumstances change over time and therefore the existence of a postnup can help make asset division much cleaner in the event of a divorce. If the postnup is especially old, it can be challenged by way of forensic accounting analysis. Also, a postnup might not survive a court's scrutiny if it is a particularly 'bad deal' for the less-moneyed spouse -- especially if it can be argued that spouse was not adequately represented by legal counsel at the time of the signing.

There are many other things we can learn from looking at how high profile divorces are handled. That is because these individuals are usually wise to obtain professional assistance and advice prior to entering into marriage contract, so they tend to have a lot of legal issues taken care of so the divorce can go more smoothly. Further, in cases that do not have all their legal ducks in a row, the problem areas come to light in the news for everyone to examine and learn from. At the end of the day, Florida couples that create a contingency plan for their divorce process, prior to any thought of entering it, will experience less emotional turmoil if and when divorce ever becomes necessary.

Source: The New York Times, "From a Divorce in the Affluent Class, Lessons for All," Paul Sullivan, Aug. 9, 2013 

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