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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC Board certified Family Law Specialist*

Citadel founder asks for divorce

The founder of Citadel LLC, a company estimated to be worth $20 billion, has filed for divorce from his wife. This was a second marriage for the founder, and his wife is a former manager for a hedge fund. The two had been married for 11 years and have children under the age of 6. The four-page petition for divorce, which was filed by the founder, asks for joint custody of the children. According to the lawyers for the man, the two signed a prenuptial agreement in 2003. Citadel will likely be excluded from any property division associated with the divorce.

However, the founder's net worth is $5.6 billion, and it's likely that much of this will be considered marital property. Though much of the terms are addressed in the prenup, lawyers for both individuals may still challenge the terms. Prenups often add a feeling of security to those who enter into a marriage with significant assets, but they don't always hold up in court. Sometimes, lawyers for a spouse may argue that circumstances in the marriage have changed enough to warrant an overturning of the prenup. In other cases, it may be arguable that the document was signed under duress.

The couple in this case share significant assets, including an art collection, luxury homes and other items. These will likely be divided among them. Lawyers for the wife did not disclose what assets she might be seeking.

For those going through the divorce process, especially those with high net worth, the advice of a family law attorney can be invaluable. A prenuptial agreement would need to be thoroughly examined to determine if it is still valid.

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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