Oil billionaire's divorce could be the largest in history

Divorce mediation is designed to help couples who no longer wish to remain married divide their marital assets. Though not every Colorado couple has to worry about splitting a large amount of money, those who do likely have many questions relating to how the process will unfold and what their soon-to-be-ex-spouse could be entitled to receive once asset valuation occurs. This is the position an out-of-state oil tycoon finds himself in as he divorces his wife of two and a half decades. It is possible that this will be the largest divorce settlement in recorded history.

The man, Harold Hamm, is the CEO of Continental Resources, an oil-exploration company that he founded 20 years before getting married. He has a net worth of $17 billion, a figure that increased dramatically after oil prices rose recently. He and his wife are currently embroiled in a divorce battle, and he is apparently attempting to cast himself as having had a more passive role in the company’s success. That could reduce the amount of money his wife could receive in a divorce settlement.

If his estranged wife receives even a quarter of Hamm’s net worth, it will become the largest divorce settlement ever. Mrs. Hamm is attempting to disprove her husband’s claims of passive luck and trying to document that he was an active participant in the company's ongoing success, thereby claiming a larger stake in his business assets through applicable equitable distribution laws. No prenuptial agreement exists, and the proceedings are pending in court.

Colorado couples who have a high amount of assets and decide to split up may find it helpful to have a thorough understanding of asset valuation as part of the divorce process. Divorce negotiations may be easier if all parties involved make the effort to communicate openly and honestly. Doing so could help the parties to secure a fair and comprehensive settlement and to get on the road to their new futures.

Source: NBC News, "Priciest Divorce Ever? How Oilman Harold Hamm Could Lose $17 Billion", Tony Dokoupil, Aug. 24, 2014

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