Love is grand, divorce is several grand

I suppose that at first it really didn’t sink in that Harold Hamm, big wheel at Continental Resources downtown, offered his ex-wife a divorce settlement of just under a billion dollars; anything over about fifty thou strains my comprehension. And I’ve certainly never written a check anywhere close to that, let alone to this:

Settlement check from Harold Hamm

This was the exact amount of the settlement specified by the court in granting the divorce, but she says it’s inadequate:

[Sue Ann] Arnall, a former Continental executive who was married to Hamm for 26 years, contends that her award of around $1 billion in cash and assets was inadequate and allowed Hamm to keep the lion’s share of a fortune her lawyers valued as high as $18 billion.

Harold Hamm had already paid his former wife more than $20 million during the divorce proceedings.

Hamm’s appeal contends that the $1 billion award was too steep. Hamm has lost billions tied to the value of his 68 percent stake in Continental in recent months, which his legal team blames on the sharp fall in oil prices.

Um, technically “the lion’s share” is the whole ball of wax, lions being generally unwilling to share. And no doubt Hamm’s lost a fair chunk of change in the current oil bust: market cap for CLR has dropped to about $12 billion, which means Hamm’s equity in the company is a hair over $8 billion. Still, were someone to hand me a check for a billion dollars, I don’t think I’d fuss — once it cleared, anyway.

And frankly, I think it’s weird to see that sum literally written out.

Update, 8 January: She’s changed her mind and will take the $974 million.



  1. backwoods conservative »

    7 January 2015 · 10:04 am

    A rich man gave his wife a million dollars. He told her to go out and spend a thousand dollars a day. She did.

    Three years later she came back. She said she had spent all of her money. This time he gave her a billion dollars. He told her to spend a thousand dollars a day. She didn’t come back for three thousand years.

  2. jay »

    7 January 2015 · 11:42 am

    Check #1004. Who got the first three?

  3. CGHill »

    7 January 2015 · 11:53 am

    I suspect one of them was the $20 million or so he’d forked out earlier.

  4. Tatyana »

    7 January 2015 · 12:16 pm

    You never know what services she has performed, what part she played in getting the fortune and what she had to comply with in 26 years.
    If she says a billion is not enough, I tend to believe her.

  5. CGHill »

    7 January 2015 · 1:32 pm

    Were they in a community-property state, she’d have gotten much more.

  6. McGehee »

    8 January 2015 · 7:15 am

    Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof — and “a billion isn’t enough” qualifies.

  7. Tatyana »

    8 January 2015 · 8:36 am

    Funny, nobody questions (or find extraordinary) his claim that he’s the sole author of family money.

  8. Tatyana »

    8 January 2015 · 9:18 am

    You could look at it this way: while he had support and help of his wife of 25+ yrs, money adhered to money and summed up to 2-digit billions. When their marriage dissolved, he started to get failure after failure in the “money” department.
    Who is to say his $losses are not due to the fact his ex-wife is no longer participates?

  9. McGehee »

    8 January 2015 · 4:10 pm

    Or, he’s distracted by a nasty divorce from a woman who wants several billion dollars from him that he doesn’t think she should get.

    If she’s so responsible for his billions, she can earn more without enriching a divorce lawyer.

  10. Tatyana »

    9 January 2015 · 12:24 pm

    She already earned them – at least half of family property. Why does she has to start from scratch, and not him?
    Male fairness is greatly exaggerated.

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