Wife of Billionaire Oil Baron Says $1 Billion Divorce Award Not Enough
A $1 billion divorce settlement may sound like a win for many women, but to Sue Ann Hamm, the amount is an insult.
Hamm, who was married to America’s richest oil baron, Harold Hamm, plans to appeal her divorce settlement of $1 billion in cash and assets.
That amount also includes the couple’s California ranch, worth $17.5 million, and Oklahoma estate, valued at $4.9 million, which were also awarded to the former Mrs. Hamm in the settlement.
Harold Hamm, however, received more than $2 billion in marital assets, including more than 122 million shares of stock in his company, valued at nearly $1.3 billion.
Although the award is one of the biggest in U.S. history, it is hardly an equal split among the couple. Harold Hamm, the chief executive officer of energy giant Continental Resources, owns 68% of his companies stock at a value of $13.5 billion; combined, the couple had an estimated worth of $18 billion, meaning that Sue Ann Hamm was left with less than 6% of the couple’s combined assets.
Sue Ann Hamm argues that she is entitled to more than what she was awarded. In addition to working as a lawyer and economist, Hamm also worked at Continental Resources several times during the marriage and at one point led the crude marketing department.
Yet the judge ruled that Harold Hamm’s value was largely due to market factors outside of his control in order to justify Sue Ann Hamm’s smaller award.
Harold Hamm, the 13th child of Oklahoma sharecroppers, is the richest person in Oklahoma today.
The couple married in 1988 and had no children; in 2012, Sue Ann Hamm filed for divorce. The couple had not signed a prenuptial agreement.
Although Sue Ann Hamm considers the award unfair, Harold Hamm called the case’s outcome “fair and equitable” in a written statement.