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Legal counsel says Sue Ann Hamm got only 7% in property division

California residents may be interested in the outcome of the property division process of the high-asset divorce of Harold and Sue Ann Hamm. The couple got married in 1988, and Sue Ann filed for divorce from her husband, who is the CEO of Continental Resources Inc., in 2012. While a judge in another state recently ordered Mr. Hamm to pay his wife almost $1 billion to form part of the divorce settlement, his ex-wife's attorney stated that this amount is much less than the percentage of marital assets a wife would typically expect to receive in property division.

While the court ordered court filings and transcripts to be sealed, some details were revealed. Harold Hamm was ordered to pay his ex-spouse property division alimony of $995.4 million. Of that, $322 million has to be paid immediately, and the balance must be settled in $7 million monthly payments. The couple's marital home, along with two other residences, valued at $4.6 million, $17.4 million and $800,000 respectively, were awarded to Sue Ann Hamm.

The property awarded to Harold Hamm included a home valued at $750,000 and a log cabin situated on 154 acres of land. The value of the log cabin is estimated at $300,000. It was reported that Mr. Hamm's awarded assets totaled in excess of $2 billion, while, according to her attorney, Mrs. Hamm received only 7 percent of the marital assets. He said that this percentage is typically 25 to 30 percent after a marriage of 26 years.

Couples in California that are considering divorce, whether it involves substantial assets, may want to take steps to protect the assets of each spouse during property division. One way to do this may be to be proactive in having the attorneys of both spouses draw up a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement that will be watertight when challenged in court. Another option is to utilize the services of an experienced mediator to resolve any issues that may arise.

Source: hngn.com, "Oil Billionaire To Pay Ex-Wife Nearly $1 billion In Divorce Settlement", Rebeka Silva, Nov. 12, 2014

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