While the amount of money in the check may sound like a lot to most people, it was far less than Ms. Arnall was hoping to get, and the reason why she is appealing the decision. She was originally asking for a divorce settlement of $7 to $8 billion as part of an equal division of assets from the estate. Had the amount she originally wanted been granted, it would have been the largest divorce settlement in history.
At the time the divorce began, the Hamm’s estate was estimated to be worth a minimum of $17 billion, and as much as $18 billion. The total estate value has greatly decreased since that time with the drop in oil prices, and the estate is now estimated to be worth somewhere around $9 billion. If Ms. Arnall accepted the $974.8 million settlement it would have instantly made her one of the 100 richest women in the US, and it ranks as one of the top five divorce settlements of all time.
Ms. Arnall was married to Mr. Hamm for 26 years, and she was also a former Continental executive. Her divorce settlement appeal states that by allowing Mr. Hamm to keep all of his Continental Resources stock, that in effect allowed him to keep the majority of the estate’s assets, which she feels should have been equally divided. On the other side, Mr. Hamm contends the $1 billion (combined cash and assets) awarded to Ms. Arnall was too much, especially since he had already paid $20 million during the divorce proceedings and he’s lost billions of dollars in recent months due to the decline in oil prices.
The appeal, with both parties arguing their side to increase and decrease the the November divorce settlement is scheduled to take place this year in the Oklahoma court system.
(Top image courtesy of David Shankbone)