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Oil tycoon's wife may get billions in divorce

Illinois couples with a high net worth might be interested in a pending divorce that involves the billionaire Harold Hamm. Authorities report that the legal termination of the 26-year marriage between the oil magnate and his wife may result in a divorce judgment that breaks records for its expensiveness. Reportedly, an Oklahoma court is to preside over the case, which may take as many as eight weeks to litigate.

Hamm, 68, is one of the 50 richest individuals alive, according to Forbes magazine. He is the founder of the oil company Continental Resources, which was an early champion of fracking. Hamm's personal fortune exceeds $20 billion, purportedly. According to observers, the majority of that wealth was amassed during the past 25 years, which coincides with the tenure of his marriage. Even though the majority of the proceedings and documents from this case have been sealed by the presiding judge, observers estimate that the divorce judgment may result in Hamm's wife possibly receiving $8 billion.

That would nearly double 'the most expensive divorce in history," a qualification attributed to the May divorce between the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev and his wife. According to authorities, their divorce judgment totaled $4.5 billion.

When a divorce involves substantial assets, property division between the divorcing partners can be exceedingly complex and contentious, especially in the absence of a prenuptial agreement. In such a case, retaining the counsel and resources of a family law attorney is imperative. The lawyer may not only help valuate certain assets but also argue for a spouse's rightful entitlement to those assets. Additionally, the lawyer may guide the spouse with regard to other important issues in a divorce, such as spousal support and child custody.

Source: CNN Money, "Oil tycoon could face record divorce judgment", Steve Hargreaves, August 12, 2014

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