The separation of billionaire hedge fund trader Harold Hamm and his estranged wife Sue Ann has been making headlines around the nation for some time. Connecticut residents may be aware that, recently, a divorce court local to the couple reached a judgment that Sue Ann was owed $1 billion as a divorce settlement. However, Sue Ann and her representation are in the process of appealing that decision as being not in step with an equal share of the couple's fortune.
The divorce itself dates back to Feb. 2014 when Sue Ann filed, citing irreconcilable differences. Over the course of their 26-year marriage, Harold's company, Continental Resources, grew in value some $18 billion. While the value of his stocks have dropped to roughly $13 billion in the months intervening, concurrent to oil prices, Mrs. Hamm is unsatisfied with a ruling that grants her only $1 billion of this fortune.
She and her representation believe the ruling has short-changed her out of the money she believes she is owed for her role in the marriage and the business in the two and a half decades that she and Mr. Hamm were together. Given that the Hamm vs. Hamm divorce judgment is already one of the largest settlements in the history of this nation, any further strides made by Mrs. Hamm's team will only make that statement more true. To date, the appeal has not yet been filed.
Obviously, the average Connecticut resident going through a divorce is not going to be dealing with billion-dollar settlement numbers. However, lessons can still be gleaned from the Hamm vs. Hamm divorce. It is important for both individuals to understand their own financial situations and their rights under state divorce law to ensure an egalitarian settlement for both parties.
Source: NBC News, "Harold Hamm's Ex-Wife Says $1B Divorce Settlement Not Enough", Nov. 14, 2014