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Oklahoma wife receives nearly $1 billion in divorce order

The CEO of a large energy company was ordered to pay his ex-wife $995.4 million as part of a divorce decree. The court did not order the husband to pay alimony, writing that the wife's share of the marital estate was a "substantial sum of money." The order was issued following a divorce trial that lasted more than two months.

The 68-year old husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife $322.7 million by December 31, 2014. He is then required to pay at least $7 million each month thereafter until the remaining balance is paid. The wife received the couple's marital home in Oklahoma, along with most of its contents, valued at almost $5 million. In addition, she received the couple's $17.5 million home in Carmel, California.

The husband was awarded $2 billion in marital assets, including shares of stock worth almost $1.2 billion. He owns about 68 percent of the large energy company that he leads, and he was permitted to keep the majority of this asset. He also received two of the couple's valuable horses, valued at over $400,000. The husband stated that he felt the court's division of assets was a fair one. The husband's post-divorce net worth is estimated at about $14 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

The case began when the wife filed for divorce in 2012. The couple had been married since 1998, and the marriage produced no children. The court ordered that the divorce transcripts be sealed and remain unopened unless the court orders otherwise.

In high asset divorces, the parties generally seek well-known and respected attorneys with experience in dividing assets in an equitable way. Colorado couples should choose an attorney familiar with that state's specific tax and family laws. A knowledge of business law and estate planning is also very helpful.

Source: USA Today, "Ex-wife gets nearly $1B in divorce ruling", Kevin McCoy, November 10, 2014

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