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Court dismisses appeal in high asset divorce case

In earlier posts this blog has commented on the high asset divorce of oil tycoon Harold Hamm. Colorado readers may be interested in the latest development in this long-running saga: the Oklahoma Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Hamm's ex-wife challenging the asset division in the case.

Hamm founded energy giant Continental Resources Inc. The couple was married for more than 20 years. Hamm's ex-wife commenced divorce proceedings in 2012. Last November a judge ordered Hamm to pay $974.8 million to his ex-wife. She appealed and argued, as she had during the trial, that she is entitled to a much larger share of Hamm's $18 billion oil fortune. Hamm also filed an appeal.

The appellate court dismissed her appeal in late April. The court issued a 7-2 ruling stating that because she already cashed the check, she gave up her right to appeal the trial court's order. Two of the judges dissented, arguing that the law in question was antiquated and should not have applied in the case. Hamm's appeal was not affected by the decision and remains pending.

When a wealthy, high-profile couple gets divorced the division of their property interests is much more complex than it is for most couples. The parties and the court must try to arrive at a fair valuation and division of real estate holdings, business interests, pensions and other assets. If the parties can reach an agreement the process is generally much easier. But when the stakes are as high as in Hamm's case, sometimes there is no alternative but to fight it out in court.

Source: NBC News, "Court Dismisses Appeal by Harold Hamm's Ex-Wife in $1B Divorce," April 28, 2015

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