All Minnesotans going through divorce must split up their marital property, and it is rarely an easy chore. But for some couples with complex assets such as pensions, stock options and ownership in a family business, the process can get especially demanding. For these complex asset division cases, the parties typically must negotiate heavily in order to get what they need at the end of their marriage.

In what could be the beginning of an extremely high net worth divorce, a spokesperson for Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife, Ann Wojcicki, confirmed that the couple has separated after six years of marriage. The spokesperson told reporters that Brin and Wojcicki have been living separately for months. The couple has two children.

If the couple proceeds to dissolve their marriage, property division could be extremely complicated. Brin’s net worth at the time the two were married was about $16 billion, and is now estimated to be near $24 billion. The two have extensive family ties within Google as well as within Wojcicki’s company, 23andMe, and a charitable foundation they co-founded.

They reportedly have a prenuptial agreement which could streamline the process of dividing their assets. That is fortunate for them, because such intermingled business assets could lead to a long, drawn-out property division process.

Obviously, few people going through a divorce in Minnesota or anywhere else have something like a Google co-founder’s fortune at stake. Still, the issues of family business and intermingled assets are common to many people going through divorce. Minnesotans facing these issues should seek out help in negotiating their way toward an independent future.

Source: Forbes, “Report: Google Cofounder Sergey Brin, Wife Anne Wojcicki Have Split Up,” Robert Hof, Aug. 28, 2013