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Oil mogul divorce may be the most expensive ever

A divorce can be emotionally traumatic. To make matters worse, high asset divorces often include a division of a vast amount of properties, or expensive alimony and child support, which may cause a bitter battle for years.

A recent high asset divorce case has the attention of the legal community. The divorce settlement of oil giant Harold Hamm and his lawyer wife of 25 years is rumored to be the most expensive in history, estimated at $17 billion.

Proving that the wealth in question has been acquired with no active effort by Hamm would make his business Hamm's sole personal property because it has been established that the business was established before his marriage. His wife and her legal team believe that Hamm's business acumen, not luck, built this incredible wealth. Passive wealth may not be part of marital assets; active wealth earned by the husband is marital property subject to division in divorce proceedings.

One of the major reasons legal pundits believe the wife may win is the lack of a prenuptial agreement. While many couples believe prenuptial agreements to be unromantic, these contracts are a most practical prerequisite to many marriages. The staggering number of U.S. divorces usually leads to many people losing their hard-earned money. A prenuptial agreement may protect premarital individual assets and interests, saving time and money in the event of divorce.

Prenuptial agreements may stipulate various provisions ensuring the interests of both parties. Many Virginia couples add fidelity clauses, where adultery by one party can substantially lessen his or her legal standing.

Source:, "Priciest divorce ever? How oilman Harold Hamm could lose $17 billion", Tony Dokoupil, Aug. 24, 2014

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