Harold Hamm controls more oil than any individual who is not a king or dictator. With all this control, he is an improbable billionaire. With the news of his divorce with his wife of 25 years, everyone was expecting a fight over his assets. But it seems this 68 year old has more fight than anyone expected.

Hamm v. Hamm

The case is being handled in a closed Oklahoma City courtroom and is currently in its second week of trial. Mr. Hamm is caught in a conundrum of cause and effect. Hamm v. Hamm is questioning if Harold gained his fortune from luck or sweat and skill. For legal terms, it comes down to “active” or “passive” appreciation of assets. If it is determined that Harold Hamm is extremely lucky and his fortune is attributable to ‘passive’ factors then the assets remain his property. To the contrary, if his hard work is what made him wealthy, then the assets are subject to equitable division.

A Quintupled Company

Harold started Continental Resources in 1967, prior to marrying Sue Ann. In recent years the company has quintupled, producing more than $17 billion in assets. Sue Ann and her attorneys have plans to apportion the $17 billion. She believes that the money gained was due to Harold’s “infinite wisdom”. Meanwhile, Harold is claiming it was by the luck and the beneficence of Mother Earth.

When the two were wed, no prenuptial agreement was created. Now, as the two fight over assets, this divorce has been deemed as “the most expensive divorce in the history of marriage”. Should Ms. Hamm win, she would surpass Oprah and land herself in the top 20 wealthiest women in America.

While Mr. Hamm claims his life is all luck, many find it hard to believe it is true. After all, he did build his own company.


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