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Oilman to pay one of the largest divorce settlements ever

No two divorces are the same. Every couple who is splitting up in the Clinton Township area, or anywhere else, will have different issues to deal with that will be unique to their divorce, including the amount of money and assets that need to be divided. This aspect of divorce can get very complicated as well as extremely combative, especially when divorce settlements involve high assets.

A wealthy oilman from Oklahoma will be paying out one of the biggest divorce settlements in U.S. history after a judge ordered the top shareholder and CEO of Continental Resources, Harold Hamm, to pay nearly $1 billion to his ex-wife. Mr. Hamm did not have a prenuptial agreement when he married Sue Ann Hamm in 1988. The settlement comes after a nine-week trial, in which Mr. Hamm’s lawyers argued that their client was basically the benefactor of dumb luck in regards to his wealth.

That’s because under Oklahoma law, any money one spouse makes during the marriage can be part of the settlement if that money is earned by skill. However, if the increase in wealth can be attributed to “changing economic conditions, or circumstances beyond the parties’ control,” then all of that money can be pulled off the table come settlement time. Despite Mr. Hamm’s efforts, the judge ruled that Mr. Hamm’s skills had a direct affect on the increased value of Continental Resources.

Although not all divorce settlements involve this level of wealth, every divorce settlement is important to the couple going through the process. If you need help with your divorce settlement, whether large or small, then you might want to contact an attorney as soon as you can.

Source: New York Times, “An Oklahoma Oilman's billion-dollar divorce,” David Segal, Nov. 10, 2014.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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