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Largest divorce ruling in U.S. history gives ex-wife $1 billion

Michigan residents may find it interesting to learn that the ex-wife of Continental Resources' CEO, who heads a top oil producer in the U.S., has appealed the couple's recent divorce ruling because she believes that the division of property and assets was not fair and equitable. This is all after she was awarded nearly $1 billion.

The recent divorce ruling awarded the ex-wife six percent of the wealth the couple amassed during their marriage. At the time of the divorce trial, the couple's marital assets were estimated to be around $18 billion. In essence, the judge awarded the ex-wife about $1 billion, which included cash and other assets to be disbursed over a determined period of time. This ruling is presently the largest divorce judgment in U.S. history.

The CEO of Continental Resources founded the company nearly 47 years ago. A little over two decades later the couple married. It is during the time that they were married that the company experienced significant growth. However, according to the ex-wife, rather than considering the assets accumulated during the marriage, the judge decided to accept a revised version of the company's growth and profits. This version, she contends, suggests that most of the husband's profits and wealth was acquired prior to the couple's marriage in 1988. The CEO's attorney has called the ruling fair. His ex-wife disagrees, stating the split is not proportional considering the wealth amassed during their marriage.

According to media reports, by appealing the ruling, the ex-wife hopes to obtain more money and get what she considers fair and equitable property division. In a high asset divorce such as this one, the issue of property division can get complex in determining what is and is not marital property. However, property division issues are not limited to high asset divorce cases. Property division is a typical family law issue that usually must be addressed in any divorce proceeding. To ensure that both sides are getting a fair and equitable decision, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney on one's side to ensure that one's rights are protected.

Source: Reuters, "Oil magnate's ex-wife slams $1 billion divorce ruling in appeal," Joshua Schneyer, December 5, 2014

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