Comedian Chris Rock and Wife Malaak Compton-RockNew York, NY- Emmy-award winning comedian Chris Rick often jokes about the trials and tribulations of marriage in his stand-up routines, but he surprised his fans this weekend when he announced that he and his wife of 19 years are divorcing.

Rock married in Malaak Compton-Rock in 1996, and even though they managed to make their marriage last nearly two decades, they have decided to call it quits, but don’t expect then to air their dirty laundry in public.

In a statement to ABC News, Rock’s attorney, Robert Cohen, would only confirm that the rumors of his client’s divorce was true, but would not elaborate on the details or reasons why, emphasizing the fact that Rock has asked for privacy at this time.

“This is a personal matter and Chris requests privacy as he and Malaak work through this process and focus on their family,” Cohen told ABC News.

Maalak Compton-Rock explained to People magazine that she and Rock put a great deal of thought into their decision to split.

“After much contemplation and 19 years of marriage, Chris and I have decided to go our separate ways.” Compton-Rock added, “While recognizing that this is a significant change, my children remain at the center of my life and their well-being is my top priority.”

Compton-Rock is a philanthropist who founded styleWorks, a charity which helps women to gain employment after welfare, ABC News reported.

As a wildly successful stand-up comedian, writer, director and actor, Rock has quite an empire to protect. We don’t know if the couple signed a prenuptial when they initially married so it is unclear at this time how the couple will split Rock’s large estate. Celebrity Net Worth pegs the comedian’s worth at $70 million.

Some people believe that prenuptial agreements are an insult to the romance and trust of marriage, but in reality these agreements are the smart way to prevent a divorce from taking a nasty turn. Before a couple marries, they can have a divorce attorney draw up a prenuptial agreement which can dictate how assets are divided when divorce is unavoidable.

Prenuptial agreements are far more common these days than they once were. A 2012 survey of conducted by the American Association of Matrimonial Attorneys found that requests for prenuptial agreements are on the rise. Fifty-one percent of the divorce attorneys surveyed saw an increase in the number of couples seeking prenuptial agreements.

In addition to their wealth, Rock and his estranged wife have two children together Lola Simone, 12, and Zahra Savannah, 10 so on top of dividing their sizable estate, the Rocks also have to make a tough decision about child custody. This is something that can also be covered by a prenuptial agreement.

Divorce is always tough no matter the net worth of the couple or their social status but with the right attorney they can take some of the pain out of the process and help them transition to single life.