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Billions at stake in couple’s dispute over validity of prenuptial agreement

Every divorce has the potential to become drawn-out and contentious. In divorces involving individuals and couples of considerable means, the likelihood of a divorce becoming a bitter dispute often increases. With often millions of assets at stake, high asset divorcees have a lot to potentially gain or lose in a divorce settlement.

Citadel hedge fund founder, Ken Griffin is worth an estimated $5 billion dollars. This past summer, Griffin filed for divorce from his wife of 11 years Ann Dias-Griffin. Since then, both have taken legal steps over the validity of a prenuptial agreement as well as custody of their minor-aged children.

Regarding the couple's prenuptial agreement, Dias-Griffin has petitioned a judge to invalidate the prenup based upon claims that she was pressured into signing the document which she claims was presented to her shortly before her wedding. Mr. Griffin, however, asserts that his wife received a copy of the document weeks prior to their wedding date and that she and her attorneys had plenty of time to review and make revisions to the document.

Dias-Griffin may have a difficult time convincing a judge that the prenup should be invalidated as she's already profited handsomely according to the terms of the document. Not only was Dias-Griffin entitled to $1 million every year the couple was married, but she was also to receive a payment of $22.5 million in the event the couple divorced.

In legal documents, Mr. Griffin asserts that in 2005 he paid his wife $20 million as an "advance on the $22.5 million she was entitled to receive under the prenuptial agreement". The acceptance of this money, along with additional millions Mr. Griffin claims to have paid Dias-Griffin, could work against her in her quest of trying to have the prenup deemed invalid.

Another point of contention between the divorcing couple relates to Dias-Griffin's recent petition for sole custody of the couple’s children. Additionally, despite currently living close to both her family and Mr. Griffin's, Dias-Griffin reportedly wants to move the children to New York City. In response, Mr. Griffin is seeking joint child custody and has objected to his wife's plans to relocate the children citing the children’s family, social, medical and educational ties are all in Chicago.

Minneapolis couples facing disputes related to the division of assets and property and child custody matters would be wise to contact a divorce and family law attorney.

Source: Forbes, "Billionaire Ken Griffin Claims He Already Paid His Wife Millions In Divorce Case," Nathan Vardi, Oct. 2, 2014

Chicago Tribune, "Billionaire divorcing his wife doesn't want kids moved to NYC," Becky Yerak, Oct. 2, 2014

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