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Divorcing billionaire claims to have paid wife millions already

Nevada hedge fund investors may be interested to hear that Kenneth Griffin, the founder of Chicago-based Citadel LLC, claims to have paid millions of dollars to his wife under a prenuptial agreement. The billionaire made the claim in documents that were filed in an Illinois state court on Oct. 2. Griffin has been going through a divorce with his wife of 11 years after the pair went through a period of separation. His legal papers say that his wife accepted a payment of $20 million in December 2005 as an advance on the total of $22.5 million she would receive as part of a prenuptial agreement if they divorced. Later, he paid her another $5 million.

He claims that he has also given his wife a 50 percent stake in the $11 million home that they own in Chicago. The court filing argues for the agreement to be enforced, claiming that the billionaire’s wife negotiated the contract with the help of three law firms and made changes for her benefit to ensure her financial security and independence for life if their marriage ended.

She is arguing that the prenuptial agreement should be voided since she signed the contract under pressure. She claims that the agreement was brought to her attention only days prior to their wedding and that Griffincolluded with his psychologist to pressure her into signing the document. She did not mention already receiving payments under the agreement.

Courts will pay close attention to the circumstances surrounding the negotiation and signing of a prenuptial agreement when determining whether to uphold it should it become an issue in a subsequent divorce. As is the case with other contracts, if it is found that one party was fraudulently induced into signing it, the court may deem it void and refuse to enforce its terms.

Source: Forbes, “Billionaire Ken Griffin Claims He Already Paid His Wife Tens of Millions In Divorce Case“, Nathan Vardi , October 02, 2014

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