Oil Tycoon Ordered To Pay One Billion Fucking Dollars In One Of The Largest Divorce Settlements In History

Email this to a friend

Nice Move

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 1.00.12 PM

Harold Hamm is a self-made man who came from humbling beginnings. He never made it past high school, but that didn’t stop him from becoming one of the richest men in the country after spending his adolescent years pumping gas at a truck stop. Sure, chance played a part in his journey, but chalking it completely up to dumb luck would be beyond insulting to the man’s life work. However, at a recent divorce settlement with his second wife, Sue Ann Hamm, his best defense from paying her $1 Billion was to accredit his success to a fluke.

From New York Times:

Harold Hamm was just another middle-age multimillionaire when he married Sue Ann Hamm, his second wife and a woman a decade his junior, in 1988. At the time, Ms. Hamm was a lawyer at Continental and Mr. Hamm was just beginning to snap up roughly one million acres of land leases in North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada in what is the Bakken formation.

The Bakken turned out to be a rich underground trove. The question at the center of the divorce trial was what exactly led Mr. Hamm to it and his epochal fortune — expertise or dumb luck?

Under Oklahoma law, the answer matters. The money a spouse earns while married can be part of a divorce settlement if it is made through skill. If, on the other hand, the increase is attributable to “changing economic conditions, or circumstances beyond the parties’ control,” as the state’s Supreme Court put it in a 1995 case, then that money is off the table.

Would you belittle your own accomplishments and knowledge to protect your assets?

Is any amount of money worth getting your shit proverbially pushed in?

Apparently Hamm and his legal team thought so, and they made the case that he had stumbled into his billion dollar fortune.

Judge Haralson did not seem to buy this just-lucky account of Mr. Hamm’s accomplishments. In arriving at the settlement terms, the judge cited Mr. Hamm’s “skills and efforts” and said his leadership spurred an “increase in value for Continental.” He also called Mr. Hamm “an expert in the oil field service business” and even after this ruling, Mr. Hamm remains one of the richest. As a fraction of his net worth, the settlement leaves him with many billions to spare.

This is the extremely rare case where you wouldn’t have a giant shit-eating grin on your face when someone acknowledged your skills, efforts, and expertise.

Not only was Hamm ordered to pay his ex-wife a settlement of an egregious $1 billion, but he went through the entire court proceedings with his tail between his legs. The money is honestly nothing in the big picture to Hamm. I’m sure if he could do it again, he’d show up to the proceedings with a blank check and say, “Name your price, you money-grubbing succubus.”

Lesson learned from all of this: sign a prenup at the start and avoid this massive headache.

[via New York Times]

Image via Youtube

Comments

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or create an account.

Click to Read Comments (32)