Oil tycoon Harold Hamm was ordered to pay his ex-wife $1 billion. Even if you and your spouse don’t have that kind of money, pay attention.
In one of the largest divorce settlements on record, the chairman and CEO of energy giant Continental Resources CLR 0.1985% was ordered Monday to pay his ex-wife $995.4 million, according to the Associated Press.
As part of an Oklahoma judge’s ruling, Harold Hamm must pay his ex-wife, Sue Ann Hamm, $322 million by the end of the year, and pay off the rest of the money in monthly installments of at least $7 million.
The ruling, which Forbes estimates will leave Harold Hamm with a fortune of $14 billion, is a vivid illustration of the economic impact that a breakup can have on divorcing spouses at any level of wealth. Unlike many wealthy couples, the Hamms had not entered into a prenuptial agreement, according to the New York Times. Such an agreement usually establishes how a couple will divide property and provide for spousal support in the event of a divorce, in place of relying on state laws.
While Sue Ann Hamm seems to be walking away from this marriage financially set, Money contributor Lili Vasileff, who works with divorcing and divorced clients, notes that wives are often financially shortchanged in a breakup. Here she explains the Seven Biggest Money Mistakes That Divorcing Women Make. Elsewhere, she discusses how lifetime alimony has become a lightning rod for criticism.
As for prenuptial agreements, Money contributing editor Farnoosh Torabi points out that they’re not just for wealthy folks and celebrities.