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A fight over child support may not be in a child's best interest

A contentious divorce between parents often impacts or involves the children. This collateral damage seems to happen regardless of the parties’ financial background.

In a recent high-profile example, Kenneth Griffin, the billionaire hedge-fund manager and founder of Citadel, is facing a child support battle from his soon-to-be ex-wife, Dias Griffin. According to a recently filed court document, Dias seeks to continue living with the couple’s three children in their former marital residence, located in a condo high rise. She apparently is characterizing that expense as part of Kenneth’s child support obligations. 

A contentious battle in divorce court may lie ahead, as the issue of the marital residence was addressed in a prenuptial agreement. In addition, Dias also has her own financial resources: assets whose pre-tax value is estimated at around $50 million. 

In Ohio, the courts use an established schedule when calculating the amount of child support to be paid. The schedule generally applies unless the combined gross income of both parents is either less than a certain income threshold or exceeds an income ceiling, usually in the six-figure range. 

Despite that formula, the topic of child support can bring out a parent’s defensive side. An attorney that focuses on divorce and family law might suggest a less adversarial forum for starting the conversation. For example, the parties could work with their lawyers in drafting a joint proposal to present to the court. If that’s unsuccessful, it may be cost saving to try mediation, also attended by each parent’s attorney. The best part about these collaborative approaches is that they are not binding, and the parties are always free to resort to motions in divorce court.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Griffin divorce: Billionaire's wife says term's seek her to be 'good girl',” Becky Yerak, Jan. 21, 2015

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