According to court documents, lawyers for Harold Hamm and his wife Sue Ann Hamm recently faced off in divorce court in Oklahoma City. While the details of the case are not know (the judge sealed most of the records and proceedings), what is known is that Mr. Hamm, 68, is estimated to be worth $20.2 billion. And most of that wealth was accrued during his marriage of 26 years.
Previous “Most Expensive Divorce” Title Holder
Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev’s May divorce settlement of $4.5 billion was previously dubbed the “most expensive divorce in history.” But Mrs. Hamm, 58, would only need to receive a quarter of Mr. Hamm’s net worth in order to surpass that.
Mr. Hamm made his billions as founder and chairman of Continental Resources. The company helped pioneer fracking. He was number 39 on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, and was also top energy adviser to Mitt Romney’s during his 2012 presidential campaign. In that same year Hamm was also named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people.
The judge sealed the case due to concerns regarding sensitive information about Continental, a large producer of North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. The judge also set aside 8 weeks for the trial. According to attorney M. Shane Henry, how the Hamm’s assets will be split is dependent on two central issues: the date used for separation of assets and how much Mrs. Hamm contributed towards the growth of the company. She was a former executive at Continental as well as a partner to Mr. Hamm. The earlier the date for the separation of assets, the more likely that Mr. Hamm will be able to retain a larger amount of money. While most parties settle, “the reason these people can’t settle is it means literally millions and millions of dollars to one side or the other,” Henry said. According to Reuters, there is not prenuptial agreement. Not that that always matters. According to New York attorney, Seymour Reisman, “Prenuptials are like any contract, lawyers can find loopholes to set them aside.”
Source: CNN Money, Oil tycoon could face record divorce judgment, August 12, 2014
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