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High-ticket items in a billionaire's divorce

Although some Texas residents may dream of an opulent lifestyle from time to time, expenses being considered in the divorce case of billionaire Ken Griffin may seem extreme. The spending of Griffin and his ex-wife during the marriage is reported to have been at least $1 million each month for the couple's children. Court filings don't provide a great deal of detail about how this much money was spent, but some areas highlighted include travel in a private jet, vacation needs and staff.

Griffin contends that his ex-wife's claims for expenses to care for the children are actually intended to maintain her own lifestyle. Although this is not in dispute by the woman's lawyers, the argument is being put forward that the level of support being sought is necessary to maintain the lifestyle that the children enjoyed during their parents' marriage. Her legal team emphasizes that the items included in the details are consistent with the activities of the family prior to the marital breakdown. Further, Griffin's former wife is seeking nullification of the prenuptial agreement that was executed prior to their marriage.

In seeking child support, a custodial parent might be concerned about amounts being inadequate to continue providing certain benefits for the children. However, practices such as negotiation and mediation might be used to work through these issues during the divorce process. In some cases, agreeable arrangements might be reached without much court time or stress.

If the child support decisions continue to be contentious, legal representation could be important for emphasizing one's reasoning in seeking a given amount. A lawyer may gather evidence that demonstrates an ongoing pattern of a child's participation in certain activities, especially if the support-owing parent has been supportive of these activities over time.

Source: NBC News, "$450,000 for a Vacation? Inside a Billionaire's Divorce", Robert Frank, Feb. 23, 2015

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