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Oil mogul's wife may receive largest divorce settlement in U.S.

Harold Hamm, who is currently estimated to be worth more than $11 billion, may end up losing about half of his assets after his divorce from his second wife is resolved. The couple's divorce may actually be the most expensive divorce ever recorded once the couple reaches agreements regarding the division of marital assets and other issues. Sue Ann Hamm filed for divorce in May 2012; however, the couple owns complex assets and has yet to reach property division agreements.

Harold Hamm founded Continental Resources, which is one of the top petroleum producers in the U.S., and he has served as the company's Chief Executive Officer since it was founded in 1967. However, when the pending Hamm divorce is settled, the oil mogul may no longer have control of his company. As part of the divorce settlement, the oil mogul's wife may be entitled to nearly 70 percent of her husband's ownership of the company. Once everything is said and done, Sue Ann Hamm may walk away with $5 billion after the divorce.

The couple has been married for nearly 25 years, according to ABC News. It has been reported that Sue Ann filed for a divorce from her long-time husband after she discovered that her husband had an affair. Before the couple can settle their divorce, they must carefully identify all of their assets and determine which assets are considered to be marital and nonmarital property. Like other divorcing couples in Florida and throughout the U.S., the Hamm's will also need to make sure the value of their assets are properly estimated before they move forward with reaching a divorce settlement.

A contributor for Forbes has also pointed out that tax issues may also determine how the couple decides to divide their property. For example, the couple may not be forced to pay a significant amount in taxes on the division of their property shortly after divorce, but each spouse may see large tax bills in the future depending on what type of property both spouses keep or try to get rid of after divorce. When divorcing couples want to reduce their future tax burdens or equalize their future tax burdens, they may consider dividing a mixture of assets as equally as possible.

When a significant amount of marital assets are at stake during a high net worth divorce, reducing future taxes may be an important goal to consider during the divorce process in order to avoid harming one's financial situation after divorce.

Source: Forbes, "Tax bite on oil billionaire Harold Hamm's record $5B divorce," Robert W. Wood, March 25, 2013

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