Oilman Harold Hamm Finalizes $1B Divorce Settlement

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on November 11, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

You can't put a price tag on peace of mind. But for billionaire oilman Harold Hamm, settling his divorce with ex-wife Sue Ann Hamm didn't come cheap.

A court filing released Monday shows that Hamm will pay his former wife nearly $1 billion, reports Forbes. Despite the huge payout, Hamm was actually relieved at the outcome of the divorce proceedings, calling it "a fair and equitable outcome to the case" in an email to Forbes.

Why was Hamm so upbeat at being ordered to pay nearly $1 billion to his former spouse?

Hamm's Earnings During Marriage Estimated at $17B

Though $1 billion dollars is no chump change, Hamm had been facing the possibility of paying out a far larger share of his fortune in the divorce. It was previously estimated that Hamm had increased the value of the company he founded, Continental Resources, by more than $17 billion over the course of the couple's 25-year marriage.

The judge had ruled that Hamm's company was his separate property, as he had founded the company prior to his marriage. At issue, however, was whether the increase in value of Hamm's company was due to so-called "active appreciation." When non-marital property increases in value during a marriage, that value may be the property of both spouses, especially if the increase is due to active management by a spouse.

Costliest Divorce of All Time? Far From It

Although many had speculated that Hamm's divorce could end up being the costliest of all time, that crown still belongs to Russian fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev, who was ordered to pay his former wife Elena $4.5 billion.

Although Hamm is no doubt good for the entire amount, the court opted to allow him to pay the settlement in installments. So Hamm must pay $320 million by the end of the year and then pay the remainder in installments of at least $7 million per month.

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