By Victor Ochieng
Sue Ann Arnall, the ex-wife of business magnet Harold Hamm, made news early last week when she rejected a $975 million check given to her in divorce settlement. The two were married for 26 years.
Sources privy to the information have reported that Arnall finally cashed the check. She has however vowed to press on with an appeal for a more lucrative settlement. Arnall received a check dated January 5th of an amount of $975,790,317.77 after more than 2 years of battling the settlement agreement in court.
Hamm wrote the check in accordance with a November 2014 court order, requiring him to pay the ex-wife close to $1 billion in cash and assets.
Arnall decided to appeal the order, arguing that the court had given an unfair ruling that would see her ex-husband keep a bigger percentage of the then $18 billion estate.
“I will not dismiss my appeal and do not feel that my right to appeal should be denied because I have accepted, in the interim, a small portion of the estate that we built over more than two decades,” Arnall said in a statement through her lawyers.
According to Forbes, Hamm’s estate has reduced in value to an estimated $8.5 billion this year due to the drastic fall in global oil prices.
After Arnall deposited the check at an Oklahoma City bank, legal experts said she’s unlikely to succeed with her appeal. One of Hamm’s lawyers has confided that her cashing the check means she has accepted the November court decision. The lawyer also said that the move is a ground enough for them to press for the dismissal of Arnall’s appeal.
At some point, the fall in oil prices pushed Hamm to consider appealing the court’s decision since his net worth was adversely affected. But after some consideration, he decided not to so as to bring their legal battles to an end.
Arnall was also lucky that Hamm didn’t stop the payment of the check even after he received information that she had rejected the check. Hamm’s lawyer revealed that the bank called them when Arnall finally went to cash the check.
Critically looking at the court’s decision, it’s indeed a bargain for Hamm. Many experts had thought that the divorce would cost him up to $5 billion at the time he was worth $18 billion.
A keen look at his current financial status, everything just happened right for him.