Oil man’s high income divorce could net wife over $5 billion

Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, L.L.C.

As many Illinois residents know, divorce can often be a difficult and expensive process. Just about every case is different, but common elements such as property division, child custody and child support each have the potential to make the process last longer than average.

With respect to property division, in just about every marriage, couples have accumulated assets together in what’s known as marital property. Everything from homes to cars need to be divided upon divorce. For oil mogul Harold Hamm and ex-wife Sue Ann Hamm, determining how they will split their property is the perfect breeding ground for the world’s most expensive divorce, a proceeding that will probably take a good deal of time to sort out on account of the money and high income involved. The couple of 25 years decided to call their marriage quits after Sue Ann alleged that Harold was having an affair.

The couple reportedly has $11.3 billion in marital assets. As if that fact alone weren’t enough to delay a divorce considerably, what makes this divorce particularly tricky is that Continental Resources is an oil business that Harold started in the early 1960s, before his marriage to Sue Ann.

While the company would therefore normally be considered premarital property, since Sue Ann was involved as an executive of the company, she may be entitled to half of Harold’s stock, purportedly worth 11.2 billion dollars. Specifically, since Continental Resources achieved massive success under both Sue Ann and Harold’s direction, the court may rule the company is marital property, thereby entitling both parties to over 5 billion dollars each, which would make this case the world’s biggest divorce payout.

Any high income Illinois resident that is getting a divorce should consider all possible outcomes under this state’s divorce laws pertaining to the distribution of property.

Source: KRMG.com, “Oklahoma oil tycoon’s divorce expected to be most expensive ever,” Rick Couri, March 28, 2013

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Oil man’s high income divorce could net wife over $5 billion