Billion Dollar Divorce

Recently, an Oklahoma oil tycoon, Harold Hamm, was ordered to pay just shy of a billion dollars in his divorce. Hamm was a middle-aged multimillionaire when he married Sue Ann Hamm. During that time Mr. Hamm was just beginning to snap up roughly one million acres of land leases in North Dakota, Montana, and parts of Canada in what is the Bakken formation. It turned out that Bakken was a rich underground trove, and Mr. Hamm grew his wealth from being a multimillionaire into a billionaire.

Mr. Hamm’s net worth has been pegged at more than $18 billion by Forbes, making him the 24th richest man in the United States. During the Hamm’s 26 year marriage the oil tycoon accumulated a great amount of wealth and the couple did not have prenuptial agreement.

Most of Mr. Hamm’s wealth depends on his 68% stake in Continental Recourses, the oil company he founded. During their divorce trial, Mrs. Hamm demanded half the money her husband acquired during their marriage. If the judge had agreed with Mrs. Hamm, Mr. Hamm would have had to sell his company to pay for the ruling.

If the couple had a well drafted prenuptial agreement Mr. Hamm could have avoided the risk of selling his company to pay off his divorce obligations and it also would have saved him from a very public divorce.

A prenuptial agreement is the most cost-efficient and reliable pre-marital control that can protect your assets and your business in the event of a divorce. A well drafted prenuptial agreement can save you time and money in litigation costs during a divorce and prevent a battle over the ownership of business or business interest.

If you are considering getting married and would like to create a prenuptial agreement between you and your soon to be spouse, contact Owens & Perkins, Attorneys at Law to schedule a complimentary ½ hour consultation at (480) 994-8824.