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US wife awarded almost $1 billion in divorce

The ex-wife of a US oil magnate has been awarded almost $1 billion in a divorce settlement.

CEO of Oklahoma-based oil company Continental Resources Harold Hamm was ordered to pay his former spouse Sue Ann Hamm $322.7 million by the end of the year. He was also told to pay her a minimum of $7 million every month thereafter. These payments will continue until he has paid a total of $995.4 million.

In addition to the sizeable financial payout, Sue Ann Hamm was also awarded the couple’s home in Oklahoma and a ranch in California. The two properties and their contents are worth an estimated $22.4 million.

She had sought ongoing spousal maintenance, but the judge who ruled on the case said there was “no evidence” that she needed “support above and beyond what she is receiving as her share of the marital estate”.

Meanwhile Mr Hamm, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $14 billion, retained $2 billion worth of assets, $1.3 billion worth of stock in Continental, and ownership of two horses stabled at the California ranch. The judge’s order stated the value of the horses was $401,808.

There had been speculation that, given the wealth of the couple, their divorce could end up being one of the most expensive in history. However, the final settlement was significantly less than that of Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, who was ordered to pay his ex-wife around £2.6 billion.

The couple married in 1988. Sue Ann Hamm filed for divorce in 2012, alleging infidelity on her husband’s part.

Photo of Oklahoma City by Paul 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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