Oil tycoon's divorce among biggest in history

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in High Asset Divorce on Friday, November 21, 2014.

People in Maryland and across the U.S. may have seen the news headlines about Harold Hamm, one of the richest men in the world, and his recent billion-dollar divorce settlement. Hamm is the CEO and founder of Continental Resources, one of the nation's largest oil and gas corporations. His net worth is estimated at slightly over $18 billion, but his ex-wife will soon be seeing a nice chunk of that after their high asset divorce settlement.

The divorce, which took place in another state over a nine-week period, ended with a judge's ruling that Sue Ann Hamm, his wife of 25 years, was entitled to just shy of $1 billion of their marital wealth. The former Mrs. Hamm will receive the bulk of the property division award over time, including $320 million up front and at least $7 million each month until the balance is paid.

The complex asset division of the Hamm's extraordinary wealth was documented at length in the court's final ruling. Perhaps not surprisingly, the bulk of Hamm's wealth is in the form of his business assets, including the majority of Continental Resources' outstanding shares. But there were other assets at stake as well, including the couple's several million-dollar homes across the country and other more personal items.

Adding a human touch to this billionaire divorce, the judge's ruling also touched on some of the Hamm's more personal possessions, including two horses named Star and Uno, which were explicitly awarded to Mr. Hamm in the decree. Mr. Hamm also expressly asked for certain personal effects, including family photographs, some books, and some guns and tools that apparently had sentimental value to him. His requests were largely granted.

The Hamm's divorce shows that, even with billions at stake, things with sentimental value are still often the most sought after in a divorce. An experienced Maryland family law attorney can help clients obtain what is most important to them in a divorce, whether it be financial assets or irreplaceable personal effects.

Source: New York Times "An Oklahoma Oilman's Billion-Dollar Divorce," David Segal, Nov. 10, 2014