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Illinois hedge fund owner files for divorce

The founder of a $20 billion hedge fund is seeking to end his 11 year marriage. Kenneth Griffin filed for divorce on July 23 in an Illinois state court. Griffin, who has a net worth estimated at $5.6 billion, cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the filing, and he is seeking joint custody of the couple's three children.

Griffin's lawyers said that a 2003 prenuptial agreement would govern matters such as spousal maintenance and the division of both marital and non-marital property. The operation of the hedge fund will not be affected by the divorce as Anne Griffin is not listed as an owner of the company according to the filing. Industry experts said that such arrangements were common, and that spouses were usually compensated in lieu of a stake in the company.

Attorneys representing Anne Griffin, who once ran a hedge fund of her own, say that the filing came without warning. They added that their client had no time to respond as she had recently departed on a vacation with the couple's children. Attorneys for both parties asked for their client's privacy to be respected, and they added that an amicable resolution was hoped for. The couple's three children are all under 6 years of age.

Separating couples often hope for a smooth and amicable divorce, but matters can quickly become contentious when assets are significant or the welfare of children is involved. Sometimes these pitfalls can be avoided by a well constructed prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, but often it falls to the family law attorneys involved to find a compromise position acceptable to their clients. Divorce can be an emotionally charged process, but attorneys can often help their clients to reach an agreement when none seemed possible.

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

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