Divorce is a reality for many Californian couples. Many divorces are actually long-drawn battles, where couples lock horns over several issues, including alimony, child custody and child support and property division. Sometimes, couples can navigate through asset division without much intervention. However, when it comes to high-asset divisions, bitterness and the war of words may be escalated. High-asset divorces are usually in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
Take, for instance, the case of Harold Hamm and his former wife, Sue Ann who has appealed the court’s ruling that awarded her roughly $1 billion of the marital estate. Harold is the CEO of a multi-billion dollar oil company and the divorce judgment requires Harold to pay about $1 billion, including assets and cash. The worth of the company and assets were built and accumulated by the couple over a period of years.
The analysis of the previous month’s judgment shows that Harold, who owns a 68 percent stake in the company, has retained most of the assets. He stated that the company was his “separate property.” Although Harold’s lawyers deemed the judgment to be fair and equitable, Sue Ann says that the property division was very unfair because the total value of the marital assets has been pegged at around $18 billion.
Sue’s lawyers observed that the assets should be equitably distributed because the couple had been married for 26 years. Hamm had founded the company, Continental Resources, 47 years ago but the company did not shoot into the limelight and register prolific growth until after the couple’s marriage. This continuing battle shows that property division is a sensitive issue and one may need to consult a California attorney to better understand this part of a divorce proceeding.
Source: NBC News, “Harold Hamm’s Ex-Wife Appeals $1B Divorce Ruling,” Dec. 9, 2014