Californians may know that Harold Hamm’s divorce agreement was decided by a county judge on Nov. 10. Calling the court’s ruling equitable and fair, the Continental Resources CEO said he would not challenge the settlement. The decision means he will keep his almost 68 percent interest in the energy company. His ex-spouse was awarded almost $1 billion.
The couple married in 1988, and Hamm’s wife filed for divorce in 2012. The couple was childless. Although Hamm’s wife, 58, reportedly asked for spousal support, the judge denied her request and emphasized that the settlement itself was sufficient. The judge sealed all transcripts, disallowing scrutiny unless a special court order is given.
Hamm was instructed to give his ex-wife a total of $995.4 million with $322.7 million payable before January and $7 million per month afterward. She was given the couple’s homes in Oklahoma and California worth approximately $22.4 million. He reportedly retained 122 million shares of stock in his company valued at $1.3 billion, bringing his award of marital assets to approximately $2 billion.
While the property division in the settlement is large, it is smaller than that of Dmitri Rybolovlev whose divorce settlement was around $4.5 billion. The order in this case is being appealed, according to reports.
Marital property, unlike separate property, is divided between the spouses. The amount is based on predefined parameters. If the division cannot be resolved by the spouses, the court will decide. Since only marital property may be distributed, it is important for clear documentation to be presented to the court. An attorney may provide insight into structuring a settlement that allows a spouse to be awarded what they believe to be fair. The attorney may also help litigate the matter in court and negotiate a proper settlement.
Source: USA Today, “Ex-wife gets nearly $1B in divorce ruling“, Kevin McCoy, November 10, 2014