Arizona residents may have heard that the founder of the $20 billion Citadel LLC has filed for divorce from his wife of 11 years. He allegedly did so without her knowledge, but the couple had been separated for a year. The founder's wife is a former hedge fund manager, and she allegedly agreed to a prenuptial agreement that excluded Citadel from any property division in the event of divorce. Experts have said that, usually, an agreement with this sort of stipulation will award the spouse who waives a claim to certain assets a sum of money if the divorce goes through. However, it is unclear if this is the case with this particular divorce.
Though Citadel likely will not be included in the division of property, the founder's personal net worth is $5.6 billion. The couple amassed a sizable collection of art and purchased multiple vacation homes, which will likely be divided.
However, while prenuptial agreements may offer some security, they are not foolproof. In some cases, lawyers for one spouse may argue that an agreement was signed under duress, created improperly or otherwise invalid. Lawyers for the founder's wife have not stated whether or not they intend to seek a portion of Citadel's blue in the divorce.
The property division phase of divorce is generally difficult, and it can be extremely involved during high-asset divorces. It may be wise for those who are seeking a divorce to talk to a lawyer who has experience in divorce, prenuptial agreements, and other family law issues. A lawyer may be able to help guide a divorcing person through the process by offering representation and advice throughout proceedings.
Source: Bloomberg, "Citadel’s Griffin Seeks Divorce After 11-Year Marriage", Andrew Harris, Saijel Kishan and Katherine Burton, July 24, 2014