New Yorkers who are familiar with hedge funds may know of Citadel and its founder, Kenneth Griffin. The wealthy founder of the multibillion-dollar Chicago hedge-fund management firm, the net worth of which the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index lists at $5.6 billion, has cited irreconcilable differences in filing for divorce from his wife of 11 years, Anne Dias Griffin.

Kenneth Griffin’s filing reportedly requests joint custody of the three young children born to him and his estranged wife, a finance professional who established a Chicago investment firm of her own two years prior to their marriage. It states that a prenuptial agreement was signed on July 18, 2003, that contains the terms of the divorce. Mrs. Griffin’s attorney alleges that her husband was aware that he was filing while she was vacationing with their children and did not notify her of the filing.

One insider stated that the divorce would not affect Citadel’s worth, and a matrimonial attorney predicted that legal protection would guard the company’s assets. Among the couple’s assets are valuable works of art, oceanfront properties in Palm Beach and a Chicago penthouse measuring nearly 8,000 square feet. A representative of a public relations firm representing Mrs. Griffin declined to disclose whether she planned to pursue any assets in the divorce.

Whether the assets of a billionaire or those of a middle-class working couple are at stake, a contested divorce can lead to an intensely stressful process for both sides. In New York, courts work to achieve equitable distribution in divorce settlements by examining the individual contributions of each spouse to the wealth and overall stability of each household while also ensuring that any special terms in prenuptial agreements and elsewhere are honored.

Source: Bloomberg, “Citadel’s Griffin Seeks Divorce After 11-Year Marriage“, Andrew Harris, Saijel Kishan and Katherine Burton , July 24, 2014