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Record-breaking divorce settlement looms in Oklahoma case

The assets at stake in the ongoing divorce of US oilman Harold Hamm and wife Sue Ann may exceed $17 billion, according to new reports.

Sue Ann, Hamm’s second wife, filed for divorce in May 2012, alleging that her husband had had an affair. The couple had been married since 1988 and have two daughters. Mr Hamm is founder, Chairman and Chief Executive of major oil-drilling firm Continental Resources, based in Oklahoma City. He is also the majority stakeholder and is thought to possess more oil rights than anyone else in the US.

With a net worth initially estimated at $11.3 billion, he was thought to be the 35th richest person in the country.

However, a new analysis of Mr Hamm’s assets has now increased his estimated net worth by close to $6 billion. The analysis was prepared for his estranged wife by an independent financial expert and economist as the divorce proceedings continue.

The report claims that growth in the market capitalisation of Continental Resources counts as a marital assets which should be included in the couple’s financial settlement.

The divorce proceedings have largely been held behind closed doors to prevent he release of confidential business information and the financial analysis is one of the first documents to be publicly released. Judge Howard Haralson permitted publication after ruling that the report was not subject to the protective order issued in relation to the proceedings.

If the figure proves accurate, it will beat the record set earlier this year by Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, whose wife was awarded £2.6bn in their divorce settlement.

Photo by Matthew Rutledge via Flickr

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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