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Billionaire files for divorce

Rhode Island residents may not think they have much in common with a billionaire. However, when it comes to divorce, American citizens can face many of the same challenges regardless of how much money they have. Divorce can bring about many issues including child support and custody, as well as property division and spousal support. A billionaire will be facing these issues as he heads for divorce for the third time.

Robert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp. is filing for divorce from his third wife, Wendi Deng. The couple has been married for 14 years and they have two children together. Murdoch's last marriage ended in a settlement of around $1.7 billion. It is estimated that as recently as March of this year, Murdoch's net worth was just over $11 billion.

While the average Rhode Island resident dealing with divorce issues are not going to have estates that look remotely like this one, the way family law attorneys approach the matter will be identical. When a couple decides to get a divorce, one of the most challenging issues is property division. The key is separating marital property or community property from separate property. It is very rare that a family law judge will simply split property evenly between the couple.

Community property is all of the property that has been acquired during the marriage. Separate property is anything that is in the spouse's name alone or has been designated as separate property by a legal document, such as a premarital agreement. Based on the award of community property and other factors, alimony may also be awarded to the lower wage earning spouse. Other factors affecting alimony include the couple's standard of living during the marriage, as well as the age and economic condition of the spouse seeking support.

Rhode Island residents should not stress over the challenges of divorce. Whether one has a large estate or a small estate, family law professionals are available to help ease the process and make sure one's rights are protected at all times.

Source: Huffington Post, "Rupert Murdoch Files For Divorce From Wife Wendi Deng Murdoch", Katherine Fung, June 13, 2013

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