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Billionaire divorce has interesting twists and turns

There are some divorce cases that might make our readers in Texas sit in awe as they learn the details of the divorce. In the case of Harold Hamm, the oil tycoon, a tense divorce proceeding has come to somewhat of an end. The "somewhat" comes because it seems likely the wife will appeal the court's ruling that resulted from a 10-week trial.

The wife in this case will get around $972 million of his $16.1 billion fortune. While she does get some property, he retains most of his 68-percent stake in the oil company Continental Resources. Her attorney says that she should have received 25 to 30 percent of their assets after their lengthy marriage, but she only received less than 4 percent.

Part of why she got the amount she did was that the man owned the oil company before the couple married. Testimony also indicated the man was the driving force behind the company.

The billionaire oil tycoon must pay her $323 million before the end of the year. He will then pay her $7 million per month in spousal support until he has paid her a total of $972 million. She also got to keep two homes and a geo in quartz display. She also got to keep the livestock on a ranch with the exception of two horses.

Hamm got a home valued at less than $1 million, a variety of other goods like his hand tools and shotguns. He also got to keep the couple's $10 million jet. All told, the judge estimates that he got around $1.9 billion more of the couple's marital assets than what was awarded to his wife.

While this case didn't happen in Texas, it is a good reminder that knowledge is power. Anyone who is going through a divorce needs to understand how property division works in Texas. Understanding the basics might help them to decide if they need to appeal a decision by the court.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Divorce case ruling lets billionaire keep most of oil company" Nov. 10, 2014

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