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Murdoch divorce raises questions of weak prenuptial agreements

High-asset divorces in Little Rock can be difficult, not only because of the high emotions, but becuase of the complexity of dividing marital assets. Under Arkansas law, property must be divided equitably, but this does not mean that each spouse will get exactly half of the marital property. Some people recognize that how the court intereprets an equitable division may not be how the couple sees it and, thus, they turn to prenuptial agreements to specify how property will be divided in the event of divorce.

Prenuptial agreements are no longer just for the wealthy, alothough many people with substantial incomes or their own businesses, still opt for prenuptial agreements. Rupert Murdoch and his soon-to-be ex-wife did, and their upcoming divorce is bringing the topic of prenups to light.

It is believed that there is a prenup and two postnuptial agreements in Murdoch's divorce, which makes it fairly difficult to question their validity or their binding nature. One family law accountant has said, hoewver, that if there had just been one prenuptial agreement that was quite old, he would have challenged it by forensic accounting.

That is not to say that every couple with a prenuptial agreement in Arkansas are at risk for a challenge, but the Murdoch cases demonstrates why it is important to create a strong agreement the first time around. If couples want to eliminate nearly all doubt about how property will be divided in case of divorce, working with a family law attorney to craft a prenuptial agreement is crucial.

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

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