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Hamm divorce case: seminal property division outcome on horizon?

13732625_S.jpgThe Hamms are back in the news, and in a typically front-and-center fashion.

We first visited the couple in our March 31, 2014, blog post, noting therein the "outsized" nature of virtually every aspect of their marriage and divorce.

As might be reasonably expected in divorce negotiations involving a high-profile tycoon who struck it rich -- very rich -- and his wife/business partner, property division considerations loom large in the dissolution proceeding that is currently playing out in an Oklahoma courtroom.

We believe the case may be of interest to many readers on several levels. Foremost, of course, is the sheer wonder associated with a dissolution that could conceivably set an all-time global record for a divorce judgment. Hamm is listed by Forbes as the 39th richest person on the planet, with more than $20 billion in equity holdings.

Then, too, there is the fact that Oklahoma courts, like Illinois and Missouri tribunals, effect property division settlements pursuant to an equitable distribution scheme that calls for fundamental fairness. That might -- or might not -- result in a 50/50 allocation in a given case.

In the Hamm's case, which has now proceeded to trial, the central question is obviously focused on the amount that Sue Ann Hamm will receive in a settlement or by court order. That amount will be based in large part on the degree to which the court finds Mrs. Hamm contributed to Continental Resources (the energy company founded by her husband) as an active business principal during the couple's marriage.

When the ink dries on the couple's judgment, readers should have little trouble finding out about the details. With many billions of dollars at stake, the story is likely to play out in the same venue in which Harold Hamm's personal tale has featured for many years: on the front pages of media outlets across the country.

Source: CNN Money, "Oil tycoon could face record divorce judgment," Steve Hargreaves, Aug. 12, 2014

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