Marylanders may have heard that the divorce of media mogul Rupert Murdoch appears at this stage to be designed for a peaceful, quiet settlement outside of court. Murdoch’s petition for divorce, which he filed in another state, did not contain any allegations of wrongdoing on the part of his now estranged wife of 14 years. Moreover, Murdoch has hired a lawyer who has a reputation for resolving marital splits outside of both the courtroom and the public eye.
Prior to their split, the couple reportedly had signed both a pre-nuptial agreement and two post-nuptial agreements. While the details of the agreements are not public at this time, they likely contained detailed plans about how the couple would divide their assets in the event of a split.
Even though they may prove to be more difficult to enforce than their financial arrangements, the couple could have even included provisions about how they intended to handle the custody and support of their two minor daughters.
In Maryland, couples are generally at liberty to enter pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, and the courts will usually enforce them if they are properly drafted. Such agreements may be tremendously helpful, particularly to a couple that has a lot of assets.
As in the Murdoch case, these agreements can make the process run much more smoothly in a high net worth divorce because the couple has already worked out how their property will be divided in advance. While no one wants to think of a marriage ending by any means other than death, the advanced planning for a possible divorce can save considerable time, money and stress.
Those in Maryland who are not entering their first marriage or those with diverse or complex assets may want to consider a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. An experienced Howard County divorce lawyer can assist a couple in deciding whether such an agreement is right for them. If necessary, the attorney can also prepare the details of that agreement.
Source: Reuters, “Rupert Murdoch looking for a quick, quiet divorce,” Karen Freifeld, June 14, 2013
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