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Family law record: Hamm divorce settlement valued at $5 billion

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Texas readers likely know that oil magnate Harold Hamm is facing a potentially devastating divorce settlement, as his estranged wife is potentially slated to receive a record-breaking $5 billion in assets. If the couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement, family law principles may dictate that the oil baron's ex-wife could be entitled to nearly half of the majority stake he holds in Continental Resources, his own company. While the matter has been deemed private by the company and is not expected to cause fiscal implications on the corporate level, analysts suggest the sheer size of the settlement could influence the company's stock.

In fact, the closing price for the company's stocks as of March 22 had taken a 3 percent dip, presumably based on news of the impending divorce and settlement. However, there is no guarantee the former billionaire's wife will receive a full 50 percent share of the existing assets. The state where proceedings are pending favors equitable distribution, as opposed to community property guidelines, and a variety of factors will likely be taken into consideration in order to achieve a fair settlement.

The billionaire's spouse has asserted claims of infidelity, which could have an impact on the Oklahoma court's decision should those allegations be proved. This will be the magnate's second divorce, although his first marriage ended prior to the accumulation of his fortune. The current potential settlement ranks highest on the Forbes list of the most costly divorce settlements.

Of course, one does not have to be a billionaire to experience an array of difficult financial issues during divorce proceedings. Whether in Texas or elsewhere, the best first step is to become informed about family law and the procedures applicable to one's particular circumstances. Many individuals may take comfort in knowing they do not have to face these important decisions on their own. Help is available to negotiate a comprehensive and fair settlement that considers short and long term financial considerations.

Source: Forbes, "Oil Billionaire Harold Hamm's Divorce Could Be World's Most Expensive At Over $5 Billion," Clare O'Connor, March 23, 2013

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