The ex-wife of an oil tycoon billionaire recently lost her appeal of the $975 million she was awarded as a part of their divorce. The estimated value of their marital estate was $18 billion, so even though Sue Ann Arnall’s appeal may seem ridiculous, she may truly feel that she got the short end of the stick. Her now-ex-husband Harold Hamm wrote her a $975 million check to complete their divorce settlement late last year.
We won’t dive too much further into the details here. Instead, let’s look at a few lessons we can learn from this story. The first is that when many assets (or even a seemingly-unreal amount of assets) are involved in a divorce, things can, and probably will, become very complicated. The best way for you to stay organized during this time, and the best way for you to maximize your chances of achieving an acceptable outcome, is to consult with an experienced divorce attorney.
Another lesson here is that there are many elements to a divorce that a spouse can appeal after the fact. There are also plenty of motions or new agreements that can be reached — that are not necessarily born out of anger or animosity — to help a spouse or the spouses better adhere to their divorce agreement. For example, new child custody arrangements could be made so that the spouse are better able to keep in line with their agreed-upon schedule.
Last but not least, don’t forget how important a prenuptial agreement can be. This contract can often head off many issues before they even start in a divorce.
Source: Huffington Post, “Oil Tycoon Harold Hamm’s Ex-Wife Loses Appeal Over $1 Billion Divorce,” Reuters, April 28, 2015