Prenuptial agreements are often utilized in order to protect certain assets or income from a spouse, should the couple later decide to divorce. While those looking to protect themselves might think of a prenup as an airtight agreement, it is possible for the validity of the agreement to be challenged. Those in New York may have already heard about the divorce between Ken Griffin, a noted billionaire in America, and his wife, Anne.
After over two years of living separately, the Griffins are seeking to end their 11-year marriage. Prior to their marriage, the couple signed a divorce agreement, but Ms. Griffin believes that it should be thrown out based on the circumstances that surrounded its signing. She says that the couple went through a particularly nasty argument only days before their wedding. They subsequently chose to meet with a psychologist.
Ms. Griffin claims that she was not aware that her then soon-to-be husband already had a relationship with the psychologist with whom they met. She claims that if she had known, she would not have signed the prenuptial agreement, as the psychologist had urged her to do. The agreement was signed shortly before they held the rehearsal dinner for their wedding.
It is usually advisable for New York couples to sign a prenuptial agreement in a timely manner before the wedding; otherwise, one party may claim that he or she was coerced into signing right before the marriage. Establishing whether a prenuptial agreement is valid can have an exceptional effect on how assets are divided in a divorce, such as in the case of Ken Griffin and his soon-to-be ex-wife, where billions of dollars may be affected. In order to invalidate a prenuptial agreement, it is usually necessary to proceed to court, where a judge will have the final say on the matter.
Source: blogs.wsj.com, "Citadel Founder Ken Griffin's Divorce Could Cost Billions", Rob Copeland, Sept. 3, 2014