Illinois’ Richest Couple Battles Over Prenup Agreement

Ken Griffin, the billionaire founder of Citadel, is currently in a divorce battle with his wife Anne Dias-Griffin, a once equally successful hedge fund trader. While the disagreements and court battles began when Griffin filed the divorce in July of 2014, the newest conflict involves the validity of the Prenuptial Agreement signed by Dias-Griffin. The prenuptial agreement gives Dias-Griffin a right to a $25 million payout and $1 million for each year they were married. Griffin’s financial worth is approximately $5.6 billion.

The Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act was adopted to create a set of rules for the creation and enforcement of premarital agreements. The act lists a number of ways to make a premarital agreement unenforceable.

Prenup

The act states a premarital agreement is not enforceable if the party against whom it is sought proves either:

  1. The party did not execute the premarital agreement voluntarily; or
  2. The agreement was unconscionable when executed and before the party executed the agreement, that party;
    1. Was not provided with the other party’s fair financial disclosure; or
    2. Did not waive the right to disclosure of other party’s finances and did not have adequate knowledge of other party’s finances.

Dias-Griffin filed with the court to have the prenuptial agreement declared invalid as a result of having seen a psychologist with her soon to be husband a few days prior to the wedding. According to Dias-Griffin, the psychologist, who she was unaware already had a personal relationship with Griffin, suggested she avoid conflict before the wedding. Dias-Griffin claimed this caused her to feel extreme pressure to sign and therefore she did not sign the prenuptial agreement voluntarily.

In response Griffin filed a motion to strike the information about the psychologist visit from the record as a violation of the Illinois Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act.

During a 90-minute hearing where both sides presented their position, Griffin pointed out that Dias-Griffin had full knowledge of the agreement and signed and initialed every page in the presence of her attorneys. The court ruled in favor of Griffin, and Dias-Griffin can no longer insist that the visit to the psychologist led to duress in signing the prenuptial agreement.

Dias-Griffin has not given up on having the prenuptial agreement declared invalid and must now prove it was involuntary as a result of a different factor or is unconscionable as a result of unfair financial disclosure.

Related source: Chicago Business

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