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Oil mogul Hamm's fortune dips as he appeals divorce judgment

Divorce typically wounds emotionally, often putting into play a kaleidoscope of emotions, such as depression, sadness and frustration. A person experiencing divorce may find it difficult to think with a clear mind. Yet it is important to be level-headed when going through a divorce primarily because divorce also has many financial implications that can wound more deeply and for a longer period of time. The situation seems to be particularly critical when the wealthy divorce.

Take, for instance, the divorce case of billionaire business tycoon, Harold Hamm. Last month, the businessman labeled his divorce judgment equitable and fair. He was ordered to pay $1 billion to his ex-wife, Sue Ann. Now, with the crash in oil prices and his fortune shrinking by $10 billion, the businessman seems to have changed his mind and is now calling the same judgment inequitable and wrong.

Hamm owns a 68 percent stake in his oil exploration company, Continental Resources. His company recently moved its Midwest headquarters to Oklahoma City and is one of the largest oil exploration companies worldwide; it controls the largest portion of North Dakota's oil-rich Bakken area.

In most states of the country, a judge issuing a divorce order will often provide a 50-50 distribution of marital wealth. However, the judge overseeing Hamm's case did not split the tremendous assets in half, and Hamm had said that he was lucky to keep such a large portion of his wealth because passive factors, such as unstable oil prices, dictate the depth of the wealth. However, his former spouse contended that she had played a major role in company growth and deserved a far larger portion of the pie. She has also made an appeal to the judge's ruling. As a result of a drop in oil prices, the value of Hamm's shares has dipped to $9 billion from $19 billion.

Source:, "As oil falls, Hamm wants second look at divorce," Jan. 3, 2015

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