Oil Tycoon Harold Hamm’s Divorce Settlement is one of the Biggest in History

Nov 17, 2014

The Huffington Post recently reported that Harold Hamm, Continental Resources CEO, was ordered to pay his now ex-wife $999.5 million dollars in their divorce. This amount, though one of the largest public divorce settlements, is much lower than Sue Ann Hamm had requested.  In particular, Harold was not ordered to give up any of the 68% of shares that he owns in Continental even though Sue Ann had originally wanted the shares to be divided between the parties.  Sue Ann will also receive in the divorce a $17.5 million dollar ranch in California and a $4.7 million dollar home in Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma, where the parties were divorced, marital assets and debts are subject to equitable distribution.  The law is similar to the law in New Jersey.  This means that, upon divorce in New Jersey, a judge will attempt to divide the marital assets and debts in a fair and equitable way.  See Pascale v. Pascale, 140 N.J. 583 (1995). Marital assets include all property and debts acquired during the marriage, except inheritances or gifts acquired by only one spouse.  A judge will consider a number of factors, outlined in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1, when dividing the assets.

Alimony may be another financial consideration in a divorce, especially where one party makes substantially more money than the other.  In New Jersey, the purpose of alimony is to ensure that both parties can enjoy the financial standard of living that they enjoyed during the marriage.  See Crews v. Crews, 164 N.J. 11 (2000). Like equitable distribution, when making an alimony award a court will consider numerous factors outlined in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b). These factors include the needs of the parties, the duration of the marriage, and the earning capacities of the parties, among other things. 

In most divorces, there are a variety of issues that the parties may contest.  If you are currently going through a divorce, an experienced matrimonial attorney, like those at Sarno da Costa D’Aniello Maceri LLC, can help you with your case.  Call us today at 973-274-5200 for help with your case.