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Division of property to cost billionaire $1B in settlement

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The much-publicized divorce of billionaire hedge fund trader Harold Hamm and his former wife Sue Ann is costing him upwards of $1 billion, according to local sources. However, Texas residents may be surprised to note that this division of property and assets is being contested by Sue Ann, who believes the settlement "grossly undervalues" the magnate's fortune. She is currently appealing the court's decision. 

The total amount of assets believed to be accrued by Hamm during their 26-year marriage is estimated to be roughly $18 billion. During this time, Hamm held the title of chief executive officer of his company, Continental Resources. While the value of Hamm's stocks has dropped to a mere $13 billion in the years since the separation initially occurred in February of 2012, Mrs. Hamm is demanding an equal share of the value of those stocks as they were at that time. She is reportedly disappointed with the court's decision, considering her 25-year commitment to Mr. Hamm and the company. 

It should be noted that Hamm vs. Hamm is a landmark case in U.S. divorce court history, with the $1 billion payout marking one of the largest settlement packages ever. However, considering the full scope of the Hamm fortune, it can be argued that $1 billion is a sliver of a much larger pie. This is the argument Mrs. Hamm's representation is hoping to sell through to the court. 

Texas residents facing division of property in a divorce setting are likely not dealing with assets of this monetary value. However, the lessons learned here are not lost on those who are not dealing with a high-asset divorce. Demanding an equitable settlement is within the rights of a spouse contesting a court decision, and learning more about one's rights under the law here in Texas can only help when approaching the negotiation table. 

Source: NBC News, "Harold Hamm's Ex-Wife Says $1B Divorce Settlement Not Enough", Nov. 14, 2014

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