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Hamm-Arnall divorce shows truth of ‘It ain’t over till it’s over’

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2015 | Divorce |

Celebrity divorce is not the kind of fare this blog seeks to focus on. It would be too easy to fill the site with such posts and Florida readers can likely get all the information they want elsewhere.

But there are some cases that deserve attention because of the unique nature of the elements they contain and the view they can provide into the legal process related to marriage dissolution. The divorce of oil magnate Harold Hamm and his wife of more than 20 years, Sue Ann Arnall, is one of them.

Readers may recall that we first wrote about the case just last month when we noted Arnall’s intent to appeal the settlement award issued by a judge in Oklahoma. That decision called for Hamm to pay Arnall nearly $1 billion.

That might be a princely sum to anyone else, but Arnall and her attorneys note it only amounts to about 6 percent of the couple’s net worth. That’s hardly what might be expected to be granted under the state’s equitable distribution rules, so Arnall said she would appeal.

Well, since then, Hamm cut Arnall a check for $975 million as directed by the court, and Arnall cashed it earlier this month. That being the case, Hamm’s attorneys offered the view that the appeal would end. But Arnall has said she is pressing ahead.

Reuters cites unnamed legal experts as saying the appeal might be difficult to prosecute because she cashed the Hamm check. But Arnall, an attorney herself, told People magazine that she cashed the check to maintain her independence pending the outcome of the appeal. She says that could take years, and that’s on top of the three years the divorce case has lasted so far. She says she considers it unfair to have to cede her freedom on that basis.

Divorce can be a complicated endeavor in any situation. When property division involving significant assets is required, the process is more complex. Securing all that a spouse may have a right to in divorce is something to pursue with the help of an experienced attorney.