Though she cashed the check — totaling nearly a billion dollars — that settled their divorce, Sue Ann Arnall has decided to continue to pursue an appeal of her divorce from Oklahoma oil tycoon Harold Hamm.
Recent reports of Arnall cashing the sizable check flooded the media, and now, Fortune reports that she vowed this week to appeal her divorce to Hamm, despite the settlement of $975 million.
The divorce has been ongoing for almost two years now, which is already twice the average length of divorce proceedings in the United States. Second marriages have a divorce rate of 60%, and divorce rates for couples over the age of 50 have doubled over the last 20 years. This is Hamm’s second marriage, and Hamm is 69 years old.
Last November, Hamm was ordered to pay Arnall about a billion dollars in assets and cash. The Oklahoma court found that the sum was all Hamm owed his ex-wife. The couple was married for 26 years.
Arnall appealed the case on the basis that she believes that the earlier ruling allowed Hamm to keep the majority of the assets between them — which amounts to about $18 billion. Some say that the fact that Arnall cashed the billion dollar check will hurt her chances for an appeal.
“Texas law is different than the law of Oklahoma on determining what is community property in a divorce,” says Greg Enos, Attorney, The Enos Law Firm, PC. “A Texas wife awarded almost a billion dollars worth of property would never be entitled to spousal maintenance (alimony) after the divorce because she could clearly meet her reasonable minimum needs with what she was awarded. As in Oklahoma, a Texas spouse might lose her right to appeal the property division in a divorce if she accepts what she was awarded unless she can show she did so only out of economic necessity.”
“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 legal counsel.
Hamm himself has also said that he wanted to appeal the case after his own fortune took a hit when oil prices dropped.