Entries in Divorce (4)


Billionaire Oil Executive’s Divorce Could Be Most Expensive of All Time

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The man that Forbes calls the 35th richest American is getting divorced, and it could split up control of the nation’s fastest growing oil company and result in a record-breaking settlement.

Harold Hamm, 67, is a self-made man worth over $11 billion, in large part due to his oil company, Continental Resources. His second wife, Su Ann Hamm, 56, filed for divorce on May 19, 2012 after she discovered he had cheated on her.

The settlement could include part of Hamm’s 68 percent share in Continental Resources, which she helped him build.

“This is clearly going to be watched on Main Street as well as Wall Street, and internationally,” Su Keenan at Bloomberg told ABC News.

After details of the divorce were leaked, Continental Resources issued a statement to help calm any nervous investors claiming that the divorce “is not anticipated to have any impact or effect on the Company’s business or operations.”

Hamm was the senior energy advisor on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and is so wealthy that the candidate allegedly shied away from appearing in public with him. Hamm is a major promoter of fracking.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Divorcing Wife Sues Billionaire Over $88M NY Penthouse

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Dmitry Rybolovlev, the billionaire who purchased the most expensive property in New York City, is facing a lawsuit from his wife Elena Rybolovleva.  She claims he purchased the $88 million penthouse to hide his assets as the couple endures a divorce.

On March 14, Rybolovleva sued her billionaire husband alleging that he “fraudulently transferred property acquired during his marriage,” violating a Swiss Court order. The suit also alleges that he used the property to purchase the penthouse at 15 Central Park West, which once belonged to former Citibank CEO Sandy Weill, for his own personal use.

The couple is currently in the middle of divorce filed in December of 2008, which should have prevented the purchase of the property.

A spokesperson for Crowe Horwath, which is listed as the company in care of the company that owns 15 Central Park West, told ABC News, "many clients use our address and client matters are confidential.”

David B. Newman, an attorney for wife Rybolovleva, told ABC News, ”Mr. Rybolovlev has taken assets that were acquired during the marriage and has moved them to places to make them unavailable to the wife.”

“Mr. Rybolovlev has lots and lots of assets and they’re all over the world and we’re trying to do what we can in regards to the assets in the United States,” said Newman.

According to the lawsuit, Rybolovlev allegedly “formed a sham entity for the sole purpose and with the specific intent of hiding and diverting his personal interest in the property.”

The New York City property came with a hefty price tag of 66 percent more than previous record sale, according to The Wall Street Journal.  The sale of the home with wraparound terrace brought in city and state taxes of around $2.5 million, according to WSJ.

Why the $88 million home? The two allegedly looked at the home before divorce proceedings but the Weills were not looking to sell, according to Rybololeva’s attorney.

“If you look at these Russian oligarch, they want to buy the biggest and best and most expensive,” said Newman. Another example is the $95 million mansion purchased from Donald Trump in Florida.

Rybolovlev’s attorney in the Florida dispute could not comment on the New York state lawsuit.

He continued, “if you look at someone like that they’re very ego driven. They want to get the biggest and the best, and that appears to be what he wants to do.”

The fertilizer billionaire with an estimated net worth of $9 billion is expected to contest the suit.

Rybolovleva is asking the court for a “constructive trust” over the multi-million dollar property and the trust company so that it “cannot be alienated, conveyed, encumbered, transferred or wasted” pending the ruling of the Swiss court and an award of costs and attorney fees.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio



Where Should You Get Divorced?

Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision(ATLANTA) -- Let's suppose you're scheming to divorce your spouse, whom you suspect of cheating (and to whom you'd like to pay not one dime's worth of alimony). Is there a way for you wiggle out it?

Yes. Move to Georgia, where adultery is a bar to alimony.

Randall M. Kessler, chairman of the American Bar Association's Section on Family Law, says that's just one of many differences between one state's divorce law and another's.

Kessler, an attorney with Kessler & Solomiany in Atlanta, says that depending on your circumstances—on what advantage you seek or what penalty you hope to avoid—you'll be better off divorcing in one state than another.

When it comes to division of assets, some states decree a straight 50/50 split, right down the middle. Judges in others can decree a split that favors one spouse over the other, perhaps dramatically. In issues of child custody, one state may have a bias in favor of the mother; another may give at least equal consideration to the father.

In choosing the best venue for your divorce, there's a further issue to consider: How costly and time-consuming is the process itself? What kind of fees will you have to pay? How long must you have been a resident to file? Are there waiting periods, either before or after filing, and how long do they last?

Bloomberg recently ranked all 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) on ease of divorce, taking such considerations into account. They determined New Hampshire to be the easiest state in which to get un-hitched, neighboring Vermont the hardest.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Divorce Filings Get a Boost from Recovering Economy

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A recovering economy has provided a boost for, of all people, divorce attorneys.

After the great recession, more and more couples are seeking to finalize divorces after months of hesitation.

"It's been driven primarily by finances," says John Slowiaczek, the vice president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.  "In Nebraska, where there is low unemployment, our practice was very healthy last year.  Now we are finding we have a lot [more clients]."

From January to April 2011, Slowiaczek says his firm, Lieben, Whitted, Houghton, Slowiaczek, and Cavanagh, saw an increase of 25 percent over the same period last year.

"When the market was down it was a great time to file," says Slowiaczek.  As the market began to pick up, more and and more clients are wishing they filed last year to decrease the size of settlements."

The recession created difficulties for couples on both financial and emotional levels, Linda Lea Viken, the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, told ABC News.

Couples may have "assets that have gone down in value, they may have a home that is underwater, and the business value has gone down, making it very risky for one side or the other to get a divorce during a financial downturn," says Viken.

Viken says some couples may have had doubts or insecurities about divorcing because they worried about paying the bills, which were once divided in half, on their own.

In 2009, 57 percent of the attorneys in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported a decrease in divorce filings.  The academy includes 1,600 attorneys.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio