Billionaire and wife involved in high net worth divorce

Maryland divorce lawyers know that any divorce has the potential for being difficult. One of the more contentious types of divorces a Howard County divorce lawyer encounters involves people engaged in a high net worth divorce. When there is a lot of money and assets involved, there is a significant chance that each side will try harder to keep or receive as much as they can.

A billionaire businessman who is divorcing his wife of 26 years is in danger of having the controlling interests in his company divided in the divorce. A judge recently ruled that the appreciation of stock in the company that occurred during the marriage might be divided. The 69-year-old man and his wife didn’t have a prenuptial agreement that would determine how the couple’s marital estate would be divided in the event of divorce.

Because his stake in the company has grown by $13 billion in the past seven years, it is possible that the rising value could be seen as a marital asset. For this case, it will be important to differentiate whether the increase in the company’s value was because of the husband’s work or because of market influences. That could be the deciding factor as to whether the wife receives a portion of the assets.

In a divorce, there will be many issues that have to be hashed out. If there are children from the marriage, then divorce lawyers will have to deal with custody, child support and visitation rights. If there are property and assets, it must be determined how they will be divided. Some couples are able to reach an amicable agreement to divorce and have few disputes. In a high net worth divorce, however, couples are likely to have more to disagree. Sometimes these issues can be settled without litigation. At other times, it is necessary to go to court.

In this case, the man built a business, and the value of the business increased substantially after the marriage. Because of that, there is the possibility that the assets after the marriage will be divided between the husband and wife. When a couple is divorcing and there are vast assets in dispute, a smart decision for both sides is to discuss the case with an attorney.

Source: Tulsa World, “Divorce could affect Oklahoma billionaire Harold Hamm’s controlling stake in oil company,” March 20, 2014

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