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Ex-wife of oil tycoon appealing $1 billion settlement

Illinois residents who have been following the divorce of oil tycoon Harold Hamm may be interested to know that a court ruling has awarded his former wife, Sue Ann Hamm, nearly $1 billion. Mrs. Hamm, however, is not satisfied with amount and is appealing the decision. Her lawyers contend that she deserves a larger share of Mr. Hamm's $20 billion worth.

Mrs. Hamm, who held executive positions in her husband's company, was married to Mr. Hamm for 26 years. According to her lawyers, Mrs. Hamm's support as her ex-husband's longtime marital and business partner contributed to his wealth growing. However, Mr. Hamm's lawyers argue that his wealth was primarily the result of market conditions and largely out of his control. The oil company was owned by Mr. Hamm for 20 years before the two became a couple.

A third of the money ordered by the court ruling is to be paid out before the end of the year. The rest is to be paid in monthly installments of $7 million. Experts who followed the trial predicted a higher payout between $4 to $8 billion. Such a sum would have been the largest divorce settlement in history. The couple did not have a prenuptial agreement.

The financial impact of divorce can be large, especially with high asset divorces such as this one. An individual who is going through a divorce may want to seek the representation of a family law attorney. An attorney could help guide the individual through the divorce process, inform them of the relevant laws pertaining to divorce in their state and may be able to get their client the best possible settlement for their situation.

Source: CNN, "$1 billion divorce settlement 'disappointing'", Steve Hargreaves, November 14, 2014

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