Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Verdict

Publication Date

11-26-2014

Abstract

Divorces can often be ugly, acrimonious, and hard-fought. The divorce between Sue Ann and Harold Hamm was not special in that regard. She accused him of having an affair—his first marriage ended when he was accused of having an affair with Sue Ann—and filed for divorce. What made this divorce special is that the parties were fighting over billions. And with an 80-page court order ruling that Harold must pay Sue Ann one billion dollars, they have joined the ranks of the biggest divorce settlements in history. The number may be shocking, but, as I will explain in this column, the result is the product of standard principles governing the economic consequences of divorce.

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