In 1988, then millionaire Harold Hamm wed Sue Ann, a lawyer who helped managed his company’s land acquisitions. 25 years later, the couple is in a heated divorce battle, fighting over Harold’s now $11 billion net worth.
Harold Hamm is the CEO and founder of Continental Resources, which controls the largest share of the oil territories in Montana and North Dakota. Hamm also happens to be the 32nd richest man in the country. Harold claims that his marriage has been “loveless” since the 1990s, a statement supported by the fact that Sue Ann moved herself and the couple’s two children 100 miles from the home she shared with Harold in 2003. She finally filed for divorce in May 2012. Reportedly, during their separation, Sue Ann installed electronic surveillance in Harold’s home and collected evidence of an extramarital affair. Though Harold’s attorneys attempted to confiscate the tapes, alleging that the couple was effectively separated at the time, lawyers for Sue Ann countered by stating, “Surreptitious adultery, even repeated adultery with the same partner, does not terminate a marriage or constitute legal separation.”
While there seems to be countless things the couple cannot agree on, they have agreed upon an official date of separation, and Sue Ann has agreed that she will not release her alleged evidence of infidelity. The two parties agreed upon May 18, 2012 as the official separation date, despite the fact that Sue Ann moved out in 2003. With that in mind, “the company’s most profitable period within the pool of marital assets that is subject to equitable distribution under Oklahoma law” will now be included in the divorce settlement. If Sue Ann is awarded all of the potential $3 billion, she will rank ahead of Oprah Winfrey on the list of the top 20 wealthiest women in the U.S.
As you can see from the case above, prenuptial agreements are generally a good idea if you have significant wealth or assets, or if you just want to be safe instead of sorry. While some people believe that prenups are unromantic, they are a common staple of modern marriage preparations.
If you are interested in creating a prenuptial agreement with your fiancé prior to your marriage, the family law attorneys at JacksonWhite can ensure that all of your paperwork is created and filed correctly. Schedule a consultation to discuss your situation with JacksonWhite family law lawyer, Tim Durkin by dialing 480-779-7972 today.