Fairness may not be the point in pre-nup battle

The news in early October that Ken Griffin and his wife Anne Dias Griffin had settled their divorce was not much of a surprise for family law professionals. The dispute focused on the couple’s prenuptial agreement, and courts seldom set prenups aside.

Griffin has managed Chicago’s Citadel hedge fund since he founded it 25 years ago. Now worth an estimated $7 billion, he is recognized as the richest man in Illinois. The couple married in 2003, when, according to the Chicago Tribune, Griffin was worth $1 billion compared to Dias Griffin’s $1 million. The couple have three children.

Because court filings are available to the public, the press has had access to the details of the dispute. Those documents showed that Dias Griffin claimed the pre-nup was unconscionable. She was entitled to a greater portion of the wealth Griffin accumulated during the marriage, she said, for two reasons: She was coerced into signing the prenuptial agreement, and her attorneys didn’t have enough time to review the terms.

Dias Griffin signed the agreement the day before the wedding. Griffin was to pay her $22.5 million as soon as they were married and $1 million in cash every year thereafter. She was also added to the deed of their $11 million Chicago home.

Griffin told the court that he had made good on the promises and had continued to bear the financial burden for the couple’s children since the divorce proceedings began in July 2014. He also told the court that Dias Griffin and her attorneys were in negotiations over the pre-nup’s terms for weeks before the wedding — in fact, there were multiple drafts of the document.

We’ll finish this up in our next post.

Additional source: Vanity Fair, “Billionaire Ken Griffin Is Back in Court Fighting Over His Pre-nup,” Emily Jane Fox, Oct. 5, 2015

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