Ken Griffin and wife Anne Dias Griffin have been embroiled in a bitter divorce battle for 14 months. The two were able to reach a settlement just days before going to trial over the prenuptial agreement they signed in 2003.
SETTLEMENT REACHED IN GRIFFIN DIVORCE
A settlement was just reached in the divorce trial of billionaire hedge fund manager and CEO of Citadel Investment Group Ken Griffin, marking the end of a long and bitter battle that was supposed to rage on until next January. It had been previously decided that the two would have separate trials to decide the aspects of their marriage. The first was to be over the prenuptial agreement, the second over child custody, and the third over child visitation rights. But it seems the remaining trials will be canceled, in light of the agreement.
SEPARATION, DIVORCE, ANNULMENT
Following a long separation, Ken filed for divorce over a year ago, citing irreconcilable differences. While some people decide to just divorce, it’s important to know there are options available. There are three legal options for couples looking to end their marriage or domestic partnership: divorce, legal separation, and annulment.
A divorce, also known as dissolution, legally ends a marriage or domestic partnership. Following a divorce, both parties are considered single, and thus free to enter a new marriage or domestic partnership. In California, there are two grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. Two types of divorce are available in California: Summary Dissolution and Regular Dissolution. Summary Dissolution provides an easier way to handle divorce, as it only requires a few forms. You do not have to appear before a judge eithis. Summary Dissolution is only available to those who have been married or registered domestic partners less than five years, have no children together, and have few assets and debts. If a couple does not meet the requirements for Summary Dissolution they will need to file for Regular Dissolution.
Legal separation does not end a marriage or domestic partnership and parties are not allowed to remarry or enter a new domestic partnership. This is a good option for couples looking to separate their finances and property without divorcing.
With an annulment, the court rules that the marriage or domestic partnership is not legally valid due to reasons such as the following: Incest, fraud, or physical or mental incapacity, Marriage or domestic partnership was entered into by force, One of the spouses was already married or in a domestic partnership, One of the spouses was not of legal age to enter into marriage or domestic partnership Annulments are rare, and require an appearance before a judge.
This past January, Anne requested $1 million a month for child-related expenses. But Ken’s legal team fired back, arguing that the request was an effort to fund her “opulent lifestyle.” She’s always maintained that she was coerced into signing a prenuptial agreement just a day before the couple was wed in July 2003. before your marriage is invalid due to some simple mistakes. Some common mistakes include:
- Same Legal Representation – Both spouses need separate attorneys to ensure each understands the prenuptial agreement independently of the other. This ensures the signing of the final prenuptial agreement is voluntary, without one spouse feeling as if they are being pressured into signing it.
- Signed Under Duress – If one party feels pressured into signing the prenuptial agreement, or if they were influenced by drugs or alcohol affecting their mental capacity, it can be invalidated.
- Signed Too Soon Before the Wedding – Don’t wait until the last minute to sign the prenuptial agreement. If the couple divorces soon after the wedding, an argument that one party was coerced into signing can be argued. The prenuptial agreement should be signed one to three months before the wedding to give the spouse sufficient time to think about and consider what they are signing.
- No Full Disclosure – Make sure the prenuptial agreement discloses all assets and debts.
- Child Support Provisions – Do not include child custody or support. If the couple divorces and children are involved, the court will rule in whatever is the best interests of the child and not what was in the prenuptial agreement. If child custody and support are included the whole prenuptial agreement can be invalidated.
- Biased – If the prenuptial agreement seems biased towards one spouse party, it can be decided it’s unenforceable or “unconscionable.”
- Unenforceable Provisions – If a prenuptial agreement has unusual provisions, such as who does the dishes or takes out the garbage, they can be deemed unenforceable, which will weaken it.
- Oral Agreement – A prenuptial agreement should be in written and multiple copies made. Each spouse and spouse’s attorney should have a copy of the prenuptial agreement.
- Ambiguous Writing – If anything is unclear, or there is ambiguous wording, the prenuptial agreement can be challenged in court.
While details have not been made public, it is known that the couple have settled on joint custody. Anne was seeking full custody prior to the agreement, and was hopeful that she would be able to relocate the children to New York. Joint custody is when two parents share decision making responsibilities and / or physical control of the child or children they share. Joint custody is able to be awarded to parents that are divorced, separated, no longer living together, or even if they never lived together.
FORMS OF JOINT CHILD CUSTODY
There are different forms of joint custody that can be awarded, including:
- joint legal custody. This means both parents are able to make decisions regarding the child, including religion, education, medical, and any legal matters.
- joint physical custody. This means a child spends equal time with each parent.
- joint legal and physical custody.
While it’s a common practice for parents to share physical custody and legal custody, it’s not always the case that parents that share legal custody also share physical custody.
JOINT CHILD CUSTODY – ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to joint child custody. Children are able to have contact with both parents. Additionally, parents are able to share some of the hardships that come with co-parenting. But children also often have to be shuttled between parents in joint physical custody situations. This can be difficult on a child, especially if parents are noncooperative. Because of some of the disadvantages, it’s important that parents work to create a harmonious co-parenting situation. Maintaining detailed agreements surround holidays, expenses for clothing and medical care, as well as creating a child’s own space in each household is crucial to creating a successful joint custody arrangement.
WORKING WITH A DIVORCE ATTORNEY
If you are facing a divorce, you need to work with a divorce attorney that can take a look at your specific situation and advise you on all the aspects of divorce you will be facing. This might mean decisions regarding retirement funds, property, child support and custody, and alimony. A divorce attorney will work with you to help you decide how you want to tackle these elements of your marriage and divorce, while also providing guidance and support. They will be able to lead you through the process while keeping you from procrastination and caving into pressure. They’ll also be able to help ensure you meet all the required timelines while ensuring that you get a fair case and trial should you need to go to court. Lastly, they’ll be able to help you find the freedom and new life you are seeking – one that is entirely on your terms.
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