While any divorce in New York can become contentious, a high-asset divorce has pitfalls related to the separation of funds and property that many others do not have. Kenneth C. Griffin, billionaire and founder of Citadel LLC, is experiencing this first-hand as he and his ex-wife are working through a division of assets in their divorce.
Griffin and his wife, 43-year-old Anne Dias Griffin, were married for 11 years when he filed for divorce recently citing “irreconcilable differences.” Court records show the Griffins had not been together in at least one year and that they had requested joint custody of their three children. Lawyers for Kenneth Griffin say a prenuptial agreement signed in 2008 ensures that the billions tied up in the Citadel hedge fund will not be affected.
Lawyers for Anne Griffin, however, refused to comment on whether or not Citadel’s capital was safe from asset division, citing the fact that neither they nor Anne had received any notification of the divorce filing. Mr. Griffin’s lawyers also refused to comment over whether Anne, who helps manage her own multi-million dollar hedge fund, could claim any portion of Citadel’s $20 billion in assets.
The divorce proceedings are likely to play out in court over the next several months, and there is no way to predict what the outcome will be. While that may or may not be the case in this situation, many other high-asset divorces do not end quickly or easily. In any situation where large amounts of money, stocks, retirement accounts or business earnings are concerned, the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney can prove valuable when it comes to leading a client down what could be a complicated legal road.
Source: Bloomberg, “Citadel’s Griffin Seeks Divorce After 11-Year Marriage“, Andrew Harris, Saijel Kishan and Katherine Burton , July 24, 2014