Property division can turn into a contentious process for just about any divorcing couple. But this is more so true for high-asset couples who may have a lot more to lose than the average husband and wife. Our California readers can see this playing out for a high-asset couple in another state; but because a judge has sealed the divorce records as well as the proceedings, the public can only make speculations about how this divorce will pan out.
Some of our San Francisco readers may have heard about the high-asset divorce out of Oklahoma that could claim the notorious title of “most expensive divorce in history” if current speculations prove true. The 68-year-old husband has an estimated net worth of $20.2 billion, a majority of which was accrued over the course of his 26-year marriage. And depending on how much his 58-year-old wife contributed to this wealth, she could stand to receive a huge portion of it in the divorce.
Unlike California, Oklahoma does not have community property laws that split marital property equitably in a divorce. Instead, the state will take several financial factors into consideration including each spouse’s income and ability to work, among other things. The courts will also take into consideration when the couple married and for how long they were together. Using these factors, a family law judge will determine what should be deemed as an “equitable” division of assets.
Depending on how much the husband and wife in this case are expecting to take away in the divorce, this may not take the allotted eight weeks the judge budgeted for proceedings. What might have made their property easier to split was a prenuptial agreement, but some news sources say the couple never signed one.
Source: CNN Money, “Oil tycoon could face record divorce judgment,” Steve Hargreaves, Aug. 12, 2014