Family Law

Oil baron's ex can't appeal divorce award because she cashed his $1B check, top state court says

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Unhappy that she got only about $1 billion of her husband’s fortune of at least $10 billion, the ex-wife of Harold Hamm appealed the divorce award.

But Sue Ann Hamm, a lawyer and economist who is also known as Sue Ann Arnall, cashed Harold Hamm’s check for not quite $975 million.

That means she can’t pursue her argument that she is entitled to a greater share of his assets after more than 20 years of marriage, the Oklahoma Supreme Court held on Tuesday. Two dissenting judges called the ruling in favor of the Continental Resources Inc. founder and chief executive a “draconian approach to divorce law comparable to the manner cases were resolved in centuries past,” reports the Oklahoman.

“In other words, wife’s only option was to reject the tendered check and to allow husband absolute and unfettered control over their marital property during the pendency of what would be a lengthy appeal,” wrote the two dissenters, Justices Noma Gurich and James Edmondson.

The majority also said Harold Hamm can pursue his appeal contending that his ex-wife was awarded too much.

The Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters also have stories about today’s ruling.

Sue Ann Arnall initially rejected Hamm’s check but later cashed it, ABC News reported in January.

Related coverage: “CEO must pay $995M in divorce case; analyst calls ‘rather small’ award good news for shareholders”

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