Not only can the break-up of a marriage be emotionally difficult, it can be financially damaging as well. However, it can be particularly expensive if a divorcee happens to be a billionaire businessman in Pennsylvania or in any other state. This is what Rupert Murdoch recently found out when a court ordered him to pay $1.7 billion as a result of his 1999 divorce from Anna Murdoch, his second wife. At the time this was considered the world’s most costly divorce, but Murdoch’s divorce is set to be topped by an even more expensive divorce.
The CEO of Continental Resources, Harold Hamm, is set to eclipse Murdoch’s record divorce settlement. Estimates report that Hamm’s divorce may cost him $3 billion. Although Murdoch recently announced his third divorce in mid-June, it will not even come close to matching the cost of Hamm’s divorce. Hamm reportedly did not have a prenuptial agreement in place, while Murdoch did have one with his third wife.
Hamm and his soon-to-be ex-wife have two children together who are now both adults. The couple decided to marry in 1988. Most of Hamm’s fortune was earned after the couple married, which makes it easier for his wife to argue for a larger settlement. If Hamm’s wife does obtain the expected large settlement she will become one of the top 20 wealthiest women in the U.S.
Even if one is not a billionaire, a prenuptial agreement can prevent future financial difficulties for a divorcee in Pennsylvania or in any other state. On the other hand, if one is already married without a prenuptial agreement, one can still obtain a postnuptial agreement, which would provide the same protection in the case of a divorce. However, one should be careful and thorough when drafting these agreements to ensure they are legally enforceable.
Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce Settlement: Will Harold Hamm’s Divorce Be The Most Expensive Ever?” June 20, 2013