Photo of Karen Lavin


As a general rule, Illinois couples get married because they love each other. And they get divorced because they no longer do or, worse, they can no longer stand each other’s company. That is hardly a recipe for a smooth, unemotional divorce process.

Just ask Ken Griffin and his wife. Griffin, the billionaire CEO of Citadel, is going through a complicated divorce involving children, a challenged prenuptial agreement and claims for more than $10 million in child support per year.

Griffin filed for divorce last summer. His wife has responded with a volley of filings, challenging the prenuptial agreement as the product of coercion. Because of the alleged coercion, the wife claims Griffin should pay $1 million per month in child support.

Why so much? Because Illinois law requires child support to maintain the child’s pre-divorce lifestyle and the wife thinks the child’s lifestyle costs $1 million per month. Meanwhile, Griffin believes the request is subterfuge; the wife wants to use that money to support her own lifestyle rather than the child’s.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The two are arguing about a host of issues ranging from specific events in their relationship to whether the children can move away from Chicago to how to handle the wife’s move from high-powered hedge fund manager to predominantly a homemaker.

The Griffin divorce highlights just how complicated divorce can get. Most Illinois couples will not have as many moving parts in their own divorce. But that does not mean those divorces are not complicated because they often are. Because of those complications and the stakes involved, divorcing couples may benefit from discussing their situation and obtaining legal advice.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Another round of accusations in billionaire’s divorce battle,” Diana Novak, Feb. 20, 2015