Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Divorce Law in Oklahoma

From the Wall Street Journal:

Oil wildcatter Harold Hamm spent decades at the helm of Continental Resources Inc. as it became the most powerful company in North Dakota's Bakken Shale.

But because of a quirk in Oklahoma divorce law, the success of the tiny oil-patch outfit he founded in 1967, which became a drilling powerhouse, may work against him as he splits from his wife of 25 years—and may even weaken his control of the company.

The judge overseeing the couple's divorce in Oklahoma City, where the company is based, deemed most of Mr. Hamm's 68% stake in Continental—122 million shares out of the 126 million he owns—as his premarital property. That means those shares, worth more than $14.6 billion, aren't directly subject to division with Sue Ann Hamm, a former lawyer for Continental who married Mr. Hamm in 1988.

But in Oklahoma and a handful of other states, splitting up marital assets isn't that simple.

State law gives Mrs. Hamm the right to half of the increase in value of Mr. Hamm's premarital shares if she can prove the company's stock price rose over the course of their marriage because of her husband's efforts.

Read more here.


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Family law issues such as divorce are often needlessly complex and difficult to overcome without the proper level of legal assistance. When considering the complexities of the relationships that can be affected, it becomes even more imperative that you do not trust your future and the future of your family in the hands of a lawyer that does not have your best interests at heart.

Posted by: NorthTexasFamily | Apr 30, 2014 9:49:09 AM

In order to file for a divorce in Oklahoma, residency requirements must be met for the court to accept the case.

Posted by: Aaron | May 1, 2014 1:58:21 AM

these matters are extremely personal and emotional.  Therefore we take the time necessary to fully understand the details of each client’s situation and to seek out the best approach to each individual case that is most likely to lead to a positive resolution going forward.

Posted by: North Texas Family Lawfirm | May 2, 2014 6:39:47 AM

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