Pennsylvania investors may have read of the recent divorce filing made by Kenneth Griffin, the founder of Citadel LLC, a Chicago-based hedge fund. Whether Mrs. Griffin is entitled to any of the assets held by Citadel will ultimately be determined by a number of factors, including the strength and the validity of the prenuptial agreement the couple entered into shortly before their marriage in 2003.

This is Mr. Griffin’s second divorce, and experts believe that he would have taken steps to protect the hedge fund firm from the threat of distribution or loss in a divorce. According to professionals in the field, she would receive some dollar amount in consideration for waiving any claim on the business, and the dollar amount would typically increase based on the length of the marriage.

The assets in this case are not limited to a business. Both parties are supporters of the arts, and they have an extensive collection of impressionist and contemporary art. Auction houses routinely see cases where divorcing couples choose to sell pieces from their collection to liquidate the estate and help simplify the property distribution. The couple also owned several properties, including an oceanfront home in Palm Beach, Florida, and a Chicago penthouse at Park Tower.

When people marry, it is wise to consider the possibility of divorce issues that could arise should the union dissolve at a later point. While the courts have very clear guidelines in some situations, legally binding agreements made in advance can help people protect their assets and maintain a clear line between marital property and private businesses. As a person’s assets increase, a family law attorney can help a client put agreements in place that are designed to protect those assets in the event of divorce.

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