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Outcome of Hamm divorce less than what ex-spouse expected

Some divorces can take days. Others take years. The last time we addressed the proceedings involving oil magnate Harold Hamm and his ex-wife, Sue Ann Arnall, there was anticipation that it could take as many as two years for the situation to be resolved.

Since we teed up the Hamm-Arnall dispute for Mississippi readers at the end of last year we thought it would be useful to bring everyone up to speed on what ultimately happened. It didn't work out quite as had been hoped by Arnall and her team.

Back in December, we noted that Arnall had been granted a settlement of about $1 billion. But she had contended during the trial that the amount didn't reflect a fair division of property.

She said the value of her husband's company had appreciated to about $18 billion in the course of their marriage and she contended she helped contribute to that success. So she said she should be entitled to an equitable division based on that amount.

Upon obtaining his decree, Hamm cut Arnall a check for the amount owed and she appealed the decision. But she also cashed the check. She said she did it as a defensive strategy, to protect that sum while she made her appeal for the greater amount.

Unfortunately, the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected her appeal. A couple of months ago, the justices ruled 7-2 that Arnall forfeited her right to appeal when she cashed the check. At the same time, the high court allowed Hamm to proceed with an appeal of the $1 billion award. He says it was too much. At the time this is written, that appeal appears to remain unresolved.

Every case is different and no specific outcome can be assured. But knowledge of the law and how it's been applied is crucial to getting the best outcome possible. And consulting an experienced attorney is the way to cover that base.

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