Splitting up property during a divorce can be a somewhat tedious task, although with proper detail and care, the outcome can be incredibly beneficial to both parties. Illinois law holds that marital assets shall be equitably divided, which is not to say that each person will receive half, but that both parties are entitled to an equally fair portion of the joint estate. Many other states have divorce laws similar to this, such as the state that billionaire Harold Hamm and his ex recently divorced in. While much of the proceedings were closed, Sue Ann Arnall — his ex — has filed an appeal over her award.

Arnall was awarded approximately $1 billion as well as assets totaling $25 million following the conclusion of nearly two months in court, which we last discussed on Aug. 29, 2014 (“Harold Hamm and wife in court concerning division of property”). Although exactly what grounds — 78 in total — she has appealed this award on are unclear, she claims that the judge awarded her only 6 percent of the couple’s assets, which she believes to be unfair. The appeal is also based upon the claim that multiple mistakes were made when their assets were being valued. 

Conversely, Hamm apparently believes that the appeal is unfounded, and has asked that his new net worth — which has dropped since the price of oil has been slashed — be considered. Additionally, he owes Arnall $995 million as part of the divorce award. This amount was determined by finding the difference between the value of the marital assets as determined by the trial court, and then halving the amount.

While any person in Illinois who believes they have been awarded an unfair amount in a divorce has the right to file an appeal, there are serious considerations to take into account. For instance, by filing an appeal, an individual may not be able to collect parts of the divorce award until the matter is settled. Ultimately, contentious divorces such as this usually end up in court in Illinois, where a judge will have the final say over any awards made in the divorce.

Source: newsok.com, “Hamm’s ex-wife appeals divorce award“, Jay F. Marks, Dec. 5, 2014