High-Assets: Hedge-Fund Billionaire Files for Divorce

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Jul 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

For any couple, the division of assets can be complicated, stressful and leave both parties frustrated. In high-asset cases, these couples can wind up in court for years. A recent case illustrates the potential complexities when dealing with stocks, bonds and other high-asset investments. The founder of hedge-fund firm, Citadel LLC, has filed for divorce from his wife citing “irreconcilable differences.” Now members of the philanthropist, investment, and Chicago community at-large are awaiting the details of this high-asset and potentially highly litigious divorce.

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According to Bloomberg, the 45-year-old hedge-fund founder surprised his 43-year-old wife when he filed for divorce. Though the couple has been separated for more than a year, they were reportedly trying to work through the final settlement without going to court. Our Birmingham divorce attorneys are experienced with handling even the most complex cases, including high-asset divorce. For every couple facing a potential dispute, we understand that working through divorce can be emotionally and financially exhausting. Our priority is to help you protect your rights while working towards the best possible outcome for your family.

The high-profile couple, worth billions, has three children who are under the age of six. According to the divorce court documents, the hedge-fund founder has requested joint custody of the children. In addition to the potential complications with assets including stocks, retirement accounts, real estate, and other investments, the couple may also face the emotional trials of a custody battle. An attorney for the wife of the hedge-fund founder said that she was not given notice of the divorce petition until after it was filed.

One way to avoid drawn-out conflicts in a high-asset divorce is to prevent them through a premarital or prenuptial agreement. Fortunately, the couple did sign a prenuptial agreement, dated July 18, 2003. The agreement focuses on matters relating to the marriage, including maintenance and the division of property. Though the contract may help guide the outcome of the divorce, it is in no way definitive. At the time of divorce, either party can contest the premarital agreement, though if properly executed, it should be binding.

With many high-profile divorce cases, the priority is coming to a settlement agreement outside of the media's eye. As with all couples, preserving the best interest of the children is a priority. While working towards a settlement outside of court is always ideal, many couples will be forced into litigation if they cannot resolve their disputes without a court intervention. High-asset individuals will need experienced representation to protect their rights and assets through negotiation and settlement or litigation.

According to reports, 85% of the assets in the marriage belong to the hedge fund founder, including properties in Florida and Chicago. The couple may also turn to auction houses to sell off pieces of art that were collected throughout the marriage. According to Bloomberg, the hedge-fund founder is worth $5.6 billion, but the divorce will not likely impact the finances of the $20 billion Citadel. The couple was well-established in the philanthropy community, donating $19 million to the Art Institute of Chicago and $16 million to the Children's Hospital of Chicago.

If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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