The much-publicized separation of billionaire hedge fund operator Ken Griffin and his financier wife Anne has been the subject of a great deal of public scrutiny over the last several months in the financial sector and beyond. Connecticut residents may be aware of the divorce proceedings and the fierce child custody battle taking place over the couple's three children. In a recent move, Ken has requested the assignment of a special children's litigator to help look after his children's interests in what is likely to be a settlement worth billions.
The child custody case has been contentious from the outset, with Ken seeking joint custody of the three minor children and Anne vying for full custody, with only "reasonable visitation" rights for Ken. So far, no progress has been made on this part of the separation agreement, but Ken has since asked the court to provide his children with their own representation as the process continues. The court has agreed to this request.
In cases like this, where children are assigned their own representative, the person placed in that role is called a "guardian ad litem," a specialized litigator that deals exclusively with child support cases. The individual assigned to the Griffin children has years of experience dealing with high-asset divorce as it pertains to children. So far, however, there seems to be no end in sight for this particular divorce case.
Connecticut residents will likely agree that children are a vulnerable party when it comes to divorce. While it may not be feasible for every couple facing a separation to seek out representation for their children, it doesn't hurt to learn more about the role of a child representative in the court room. In the interest of looking out for what's best for a child, knowledge is power.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "3 Griffin kids get a lawyer in billionaire couple's divorce", Joel Levin, Sept. 12, 2014