Harold Hamm
Harold Hamm, founder and CEO of Continental Resources, enters the courthouse for divorce proceedings with wife Sue Ann Hamm in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma September 22, 2014 Reuters/Steve Sisney

In November 2014, oil magnate Harold Hamm divorced from his ex-wife, Sue Ann Arnall and was ordered by the court to pay $1 billion. Initially, Hamm considered the Oklahoma billionaire divorce ruling "fair and equitable". However, due to a drop in oil prices, his personal fortune, which used to be estimated at around $19 billion has decreased much, spurring Hamm to appeal the divorce ruling.

Financial Post reported that oil reached a five-year low causing Hamm's company, Continental Resources Inc., to drop 30 percent. As a result, Hamm's net worth was reduced to $10.6 billion based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

According to Hamm, Arnall will be getting a disproportionate sum, considering that the judgment was rendered before the big oil price drop.

The Oklahoma billionaire divorce is one of the largest in United States history, pitting the oil company owner against his lawyer ex-wife. According to Arnall, Hamm's fortune was built on both their efforts during their 26-year marriage.

Hamm contended that his 68 percent stake in Continental Resources Inc. was owned by him before he met Arnall and it significantly increased in value during their marriage due to passive factors. CNBC reported that the divorce has already cost them tens of millions of dollars over a span of three years.

Oklahoma law provides that only marital wealth gained from the active efforts or skills of either spouse must be split in a divorce.

After Oklahoma billionaire divorce judgment ordered to pay his ex-wife $1 billion, he was allowed to retain his majority stake in the oil company. However, he informed the court that he will need to borrow money to fund the divorce payments. Arnall was previously aiming to receive a lump sum in cash then continue trying to get more from Hamm through more litigation.

Hamm filed an appeal on the Oklahoma billionaire divorce judgment that "raises the stakes for his ex-wife". The oilman will attempt to convince the Oklahoma high court that the amount must be reduced or eliminated. In Hamm's appeal, he contested the $1 billion award, including the court order that he split $1.4 billion with Arnall, which came from the surge of his shareholdings in Continental Resources Inc. He listed 26 other properties that were allegedly mistakenly divided as marital assets. The assets included the couple's old house in Oklahoma City and a California ranch worth $17 million.

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