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Billionaire's fortune at stake in prenuptial agreement dispute

While we often discuss and promote the many benefits of the collaborative legal process, deep-seeded disputes between some couples make pursuing a collaborative divorce impossible. The divorce between Citadel hedge fund founder Kenneth C. Griffin and his wife Anne Dias Griffin, provides an example of a high-conflict and complicated divorce and seems poised to turn into a lengthy courtroom battle.

Earlier this summer, Anne Griffin alleges her husband filed took action to file for divorce while she and the couple's three children were about to board a plane for vacation. Shocked by her husband's action, Mrs. Griffin said she arrived home prepared to talk to her husband only to learn he'd removed several valuable belongings from the couple's home.   

The founder of the successful hedge fund Citadel, Kenneth Griffin is reported to be worth $5.5 billion. While the couple signed a prenuptial agreement prior to marrying in 2003, Anne Griffin recently revealed information in court that may compel a judge to invalidate the prenup and provide her with a much bigger share of her husband's assets. 

According to court documents, Anne Griffin asserts she was presented with a prenuptial agreement only days before the couple was to wed. Intense arguments over the contents of the prenuptial agreement ensued at which time she asserts Kenneth Griffin suggested the couple seek professional help from a psychologist to work out their issues related to the prenuptial agreement.

Unbeknownst to Anne Griffin, her husband was already a patient of the psychologist who, along with her husband, proceeded to convince Anne to sign the agreement. The prenup was signed on July 18, the couple was married the next day in an opulent ceremony in Versailles.

Anne Griffin has accused her husband of using undue influence and deceptive tactics in compelling her to sign the prenuptial agreement. Under the terms of the existing prenup, Anne Griffin would receive one percent, or $50 million, of her husband's estimated net worth. If a judge deems the agreement invalid, she may be entitled to billions.  

Source: New York Times, "Anne Griffin Seeks to Void Prenuptial Agreement With Ken Griffin," Michael J. De La Merced, Sep. 2, 2014

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