Connecticut residents might be aware that billionaire Harold Hamm filed for divorce from his wife after more than 20 years of marriage. Hamm was reportedly worth an estimated $19 billion when he filed for divorce from his wife Sue Ann Arnall. At the time of the proceeding, the court awarded Arnall $1 billion, and Hamm agreed that the decision was fair to both parties. Arnall appealed the decision, claiming that most of his fortune grew after their marriage and that she deserved a larger settlement.
Before the judge could make a ruling on her claims, Hamm himself filed an appeal. According to Hamm, rising oil prices led to his fortune dwindling after the initial decision.
The case between the two is one of the highest stake divorce cases in history. Arnall claims that she spent years working for the company that her ex-husband founded and that her contributions helped the company grow. Hamm responded by showing a book that tracks the history of his company and does not mention his ex-wife. Though the court has yet to make a ruling on the case, the original $1 billion settlement still stands.
In the case of a high asset divorce such as the one above, Connecticut courts will look at all property obtained during the marriage and what each brought into the marriage. As an equitable distribution state, the court will determine what is fair for both parties when determining the final settlement. In some cases, the court may determine that one party deserves future support and decide the amount of that support and how long it will last.
Source: CNBC, “Oklahoma oilman appeals billion-dollar divorce judgment“, December 31, 2014