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Division of assets an issue in billionaire’s divorce

Getting a divorce after 11 years of marriage is difficult enough. However, if you are a billionaire, it makes the division of assets associated with that divorce far more difficult. Billionaire hedge fund entrepreneur, Ken Griffin, is in exactly that kind of a situation right now, as his future ex-wife tries to nullify their prenuptial agreement and obtain more money through their divorce proceedings.

Ken Griffin, the founder and manager of Citadel, holds an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion. According to the prenuptial agreement he signed with his wife, though, in the event of a divorce, she will only receive about 1 percent of that net worth. Now, she is trying to nullify the prenuptial agreement, claiming that she signed it while under duress.

Ken Griffin has fired back in court, claiming that his wife employed three prestigious law firms to negotiate and review their prenuptial agreement before it was finalized. He also says that his wife gained lifetime financial security and wealth as a result of the document, which required that she receive $1 million in cash payments for each year of their marriage, a multimillion dollar lump sum at the onset of the marriage and half ownership of the couple's $11 million family home. The billionaire claims that he has already given his wife $37 million in cash payments as per the prenuptial agreement.

The hedge fund mogul is also fighting his wife's request for sole custody of their children, and he is contesting her request to move them out of state. The woman's attorneys say she wants to resolve the matter out of court, but her husband's actions are making that unlikely. They also claim that the billionaire threatened his wife that he would destroy her on the prenuptial agreement if she refused to drop her claims.

The division of marital property can become exceedingly complex in the case of a high asset divorce. Often these kinds of cases involve multiple investment accounts, various real estate properties and other types of joint marital property. When questions about child custody, child support and alimony are also thrown into the mix, it will be important for both spouses to seek professional counsel to make sure their rights are fully protected throughout the divorce proceedings.

Source: pagesix.com, "Hedge fund billionaire Griffin’s divorce fight gets uglier" Emily Smith, Oct. 02, 2014

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