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Billionaire's split shows importance of pre-marriage protections

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Last week on the blog we talked about prenuptial agreements and how they can be helpful to individuals who are seeking to protect their assets upon entering a marriage. A recent divorce battle between billionaire hedge fund founder Kenneth Griffin and his wife helps show how prenuptial agreements can be beneficial to both parties.

According to court documents, Griffin, who founded and runs the hedge fund Citadel, recently disclosed the terms of the couple's prenuptial agreement. The court filing states that the prenuptial agreement awarded Ms. Griffin nearly $1 million a year for every year of the union, starting when they wed in 2003. Additionally, the agreement gave Ms. Griffin joint ownership of Kenneth Griffin's $11 million Chicago penthouse. Total, it is estimated that Ms. Griffin has received more than $37 million as part of the prenuptial agreement.

Ms. Griffin claims that she was unfairly forced to sign the prenuptial agreement, a claim that Kenneth Griffin aggressively denies. In fact, Kenneth Griffin claims that the prenuptial agreement was extraordinarily fair to his wife. The matter is still being resolved.

Though this is a case involving millions of dollars, it helps highlight just how beneficial a prenuptial agreement can be to both parties to a marriage. Even those Arizonans who do not have millions of dollars can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Just about any family law issue can be addressed in such an agreement, including property division, child custody, and alimony. Hopefully, those who choose to put these protections in place will be able to move into their union with a feeling of confidence and security, allowing the parties to focus on their new life together.

Source: The New York Times, "Citadel's Griffin Outlines Terms of Prenuptial Agreement in Divorce Fight" Michael J. De La Merced, Oct. 2, 2014

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