After 11 years of marriage, Ken Griffin — the founder of Citadel — filed for divorce from his wife. The 45-year-old Illinois CEO claimed that irreconcilable differences had led to the eventual need for the divorce. Although there was apparently a prenuptial agreement signed by both parties, with substantial assets involved, division of property might not be so clear cut.

The divorce filing claims that attempting to reconcile the couple’s marital issues would be the wrong decision for the family, which includes the couple’s three children. However, it was noted that he chose to file the divorce petition while his wife was on vacation with the kids. This left her unable to immediately reply to the petition.

Furthermore, Griffin contends that the prenuptial agreement that the pair signed prior to their marriage is still a valid agreement. It is unclear what the prenup addressed. However, both Griffin and his wife appear to have gained significant financial assets since their 2003 marriage, including money earned by Ms. Griffin from a hedge-fund company that she managed.

Common items that a prenuptial might address are how assets — both marital and otherwise — are to be split, and it may also address alimony payments. Although a prenup is an excellent legal tool that Illinois individuals may utilize in order to protect themselves before entering into a marriage, there are circumstances that may invalidate an agreement. When this occurs, a couple may attempt to reach a divorce settlement through either mutual discussions or by meeting with a third-party mediator. If both of these attempts at an agreement are unsuccessful, the final decision may ultimately end up with a judge.

Source: blogs.wsj.com, “Citadel’s Griffin Files for Divorce“, Rob Copeland and Ben Kesling, July 24, 2014