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Billionaire’s divorce may result in unprecedented settlement

Nevada couples considering divorce might be interested in the recent case involving the oil tycoon Harold Hamm. Authorities reported that the legal split between Hamm and his wife of 26 years might result in the largest recorded divorce settlement ever. Reportedly, the Oklahoma court presiding over the divorce trial has cleared its docket for eight weeks to hear arguments from both sides.

According to Forbes magazine, Hamm is one of the 40 richest individuals in the world. His company, Continental Resources, deals in oil production and is a pioneer in the use of fracking. Hamm, 68, has amassed a personal fortune that authorities purport to be more than $20 billion. Authorities state that most of that wealth was accrued during the past quarter of a century, a timeframe that coincides with the tenure of his marriage. Some authorities anticipate that the divorce settlement will result in Hamm’s wife receiving between $4 billion and $8 billion.

In May, a divorce case involving the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev resulted in a settlement of $4.5 billion. Authorities called that ‘the most expensive divorce in history.”

The judge presiding over Hamm’s case ruled in favor of a request to seal nearly all of the case’s documents and proceedings. Nevertheless, authorities state that a key factor with regard to settling high-asset divorces like this one is the date used to determine the division of assets. An earlier date used will likely lend itself to a bigger divorce settlement, authorities anticipate.

Many divorce cases are resolved during mediation between the two partners and their respective advocates. However, high-asset divorces often require litigation on account of the high stakes and complex issues that accompany substantial assets. In any case, the key to obtaining a favorable settlement is retaining the counsel and resources of an effective family law attorney.

Source: CNN Money, “Oil tycoon could face record divorce judgment“, Steve Hargreaves, August 12, 2014

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