Billionaire Harold Hamm who has a controlling stake in Continental Resources, the company he founded, might have to give some of it to his wife as part of a divorce settlement. The Oklahoma judge has said that the “marital portion of the non-passive enhanced value” of the 125 million Continental shares owned by Hamm will be decided later.

Hamm is Highly Upset

If the judge decides to treat the increase in value of the shares during the 26 year marriage as a marital asset, Hamm will have to divide this amount with his wife as part of the divorce settlement.

Judge’s Decision

According to the ruling, the judge accepts that the shares as such are a premarital asset. However, the judge has to decide whether the appreciation in value of the shares was a result of marital effort by either parties or a passive enhancement. Since Hamm is the major shareholder of the company he founded, it is likely that the court will rule that his efforts enhanced the value of the shares. In such a case, his wife would be entitled to her share of the enhanced value as a marital asset. This is because the couple does not have a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement.

Play if Off Hamm

It is amazing that someone as intelligent as Hamm did not obtain a prenup. But he could act like this does not matter and give up the shares so his wife does not have any satisfaction from his frustration.

If you are contemplating divorce, you need to retain the services of a Salt Lake City divorce lawyer who will be able to help you determine how you can claim a rightful share of the marital property. This is all the more important if you do not have a pre-nuptial agreement. In such cases, while the court cannot divide the premarital assets, it can divide any assets gained after the marriage. This can also include the increase in value of assets held from before the marriage if one of the parties contributed to the increase.