Ever since media mogul Rupert Murdoch divorced his wife in 1999, his split has been considered to include the world's biggest divorce settlement. Even though Murdoch is in the process of getting divorced again, a fellow businessperson may soon surpass the 1999 record set by Murdoch. Harold Hamm, CEO of an oil company, could end up owing his wife $3 billion as the split is finalized.
It's unlikely that many Peoria residents are dealing with property division involving assets this large, but Hamm's divorce can still provide some valuable lessons. Couples working through a contentious divorce -- perhaps involving complex assets -- may be able to work through many of their issues by signing a prenuptial agreement or seeking mediation.
As previously mentioned, Murdoch is also going through divorce, but choosing to sign a prenuptial agreement this time around prevented the settlement from being so large and sped up the process considerably. On the other hand, Hamm and his wife of over 20 years didn't have the same document in place, which opened the door to a contested divorce.
If a couple didn't choose to create a prenup before they exchange vows, they can also consider divorce mediation. By choosing to work together -- rather than litigate a divorce in court -- couples can settle many aspects of their divorce in a fair and consistent manner. Furthermore, mediating a divorce can remove a lot of the stress that comes with a contested split.
More than anything else, couples should remember that they don't have to come to the negotiating table as adversaries. Divorce can carry a lot of emotion, but consciously deciding to work toward a reasonable, fair settlement can help ensure both parties are in a financially sound position after divorce.
Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Settlement: Will Harold Hamm's Divorce Be The Most Expensive Ever?" June 20, 2013