A prenuptial agreement, when carefully and fairly negotiated between soon-to-be spouses in Alabama or elsewhere, can provide not only protection for individual assets, but also a fair plan regarding asset division if the marriage doesn’t work out. This can prove invaluable in any marriage, regardless of current financial circumstances. During divorce proceedings, particularly in high asset cases, the validity of a prenuptial agreement may be questioned by a spouse who feels they are not getting their fair share of the marital property or financial accounts. Such is the case for a divorce that has recently been making national headlines.
The estranged wife of hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin has requested the court to declare their prenuptial agreement invalid. She claims she was under duress and coerced into signing the document just a day before their wedding, giving her no time to properly review the proposed agreement with legal counsel. Because of this, Mr. Griffin’s wife has asked the court to grant her an equitable share of the marital property rather than abiding by the terms of the prenup.
Ken Griffin’s net worth is estimated to be over $5 billion, and a number of his assets were reportedly obtained during the course of the marriage. In his wife’s court filing, she claims that the prenuptial agreement provides a significant amount of disparity between the couple’s individual assets, earning capacities and income. If the prenup is enforced, Mrs. Griffin claims it would strip away her rights to a significant amount of money. With so much at stake for both parties, it is imperative that the validity of their prenuptial agreement be determined.
When a prenuptial agreement is challenged, it can take time to work through all the details to determine its validity. If it is found invalid, it would open up all marital property and financial assets up for equitable division. If the document is validated by a court, the terms in the agreement would then be honored, unless any those terms are deemed illegal or against public policy. Alabama couples who would like to protect their assets and set certain ground rules before walking down the aisle will likely benefit from a prenuptial agreement. These documents, when fairly negotiated and constructed by both parties, can help reduce some stress by providing a pre-determined plan for dividing marital assets in the event of a subsequent divorce.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Griffin divorce: Anne Diaz Griffin claims prenup shouldn’t be enforceable”, Becky Yerak, Sept. 3, 2014