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Billionaire keeps controlling interest in company after divorce

The decision whether or not to get a divorce can be complicated by many legal issues, such as child custody, child support, alimony and division of marital property and debts. The matter may be exacerbated when the divorcing couple has a lot of assets. In these instances, parties may fight over what they believe is theirs, and the final determination can mean the difference between starting a new life that is financially sound and starting one that is financially unstable. With finances playing an integral role in a party's well-being, it may be best for these individuals to seek out a legal professional who will represent the party's best interests.

Billionaire oil man Harold Hamm, founder of Continental Resources, recently faced a divorce battle over some of his financial assets. Reports indicate Hamm's wife, Sue Ann, tried to have Hamm's 122 million shares of Continental subjected to marital asset division. Such a judgment would have endangered Hamm's controlling interest in the company and would have cost him a significant portion of his $14.6 billion net worth. Recently, though, a judge ruled the shares were pre-marital property and belonged solely to Hamm. Hamm's 4 million additional shares acquired during the marriage, however, will likely be subjected to division. Other details of their divorce are not available at this time.

Though most people are not dealing with billions or even millions of dollars, the stakes can be just as high. A divorcing party who inadequately prepares for the divorce process may unfairly be left without his or her fair share of a home, bank and retirement accounts and other assets. Also, improperly identifying an individual's assets may leave it open to division, unjustly costing an individual a significant portion of his or her financial health.

With so much at stake it is important for a divorcing party to obtain a competent advocate who will diligently protect his or her interests. A Worcester Divorce Lawyer can help valuate property, correctly categorize it and put forth a legal plan to keep the determination of legal issues fair and just considering the circumstances.

Source: Forbes, "Judge: Billionaire Hamm To Retain Control Of Continental Resources In Divorce Settlement," Christopher Helman, Mar. 4, 2014

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