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Billionaire's wife seeks to void prenup

Many Arizona investors read earlier in 2014 that a billionaire hedge fund manager had announced his intent to divorce his wife of 11 years. In response to his divorce petition, his wife is asking that the terms of a prenuptial agreement the two signed be voided.

The wife is a successful financial guru of her own right, having previously founded and headed a financial management company before she left to concentrate on raising the couple's two children. The husband has an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion. The couple was married in 2003 shortly after the prenuptial agreement was signed. However, the wife says that she was forced to sign the agreement under duress.

According to the wife's filings with the court, the wife was caught off guard by the request for her to sign the agreement shortly before their wedding. The husband only disclosed his full financial details three days before their marriage. According to the wife, after the couple argued the husband suggested that the two seek help from a psychologist, but he did not tell his wife that he was already the psychologist's patient. The psychologist suggested that the wife sign the agreement. She said that the psychologist meeting was staged in an attempt to get her to sign. If the prenuptial agreement is upheld, the wife will only be entitled to 1 percent of the husband's assets.

Prenuptial agreements can help protect the assets of an individual in case of divorce or death. However, as is the case with any contract, if a court finds that one of the parties was coerced into signing it, some or all of its provisions may be thrown out. This points out the need for each party to have separate counsel review the proposed terms prior to signing.

Source: CNBC, "Anne Griffin Seeks to Void Prenuptial Agreement With Ken Griffin", Michael J. de la Merced, September 03, 2014

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