How Date of Separation Affects Divorce Settlement

While the high-profile divorce case of Oklahoma oil billionaire Harold Hamm is blocked from the public over fears of revealing confidential company secrets, there is enough public access to know that a highly significant matter is being contested. Hamm had previously stated he and his wife separated in 2003. His wife argued that the date of separation is around May 2012. This difference in the official date of separation is the difference of billions of dollars of marital property.

Why Date of Separation Matters

The date of separation of a couple can have a large effect on division of property in a divorce. This date is used to establish a solid date that will determine where marital property ends and separate property begins.

In a divorce case, if a date of separation can be established significantly earlier than the divorce filing, the amount of property a spouse is entitled to can be significantly smaller. In the case of the Hamm divorce, the wife would not be able to access the billions of dollars of growth the company experienced in 2007, reducing the amount she would be owed.

Knowing this information, individuals may wish to plan for divorce earlier by documenting a date of separation. If you are divorcing, establishing a date of separation is financially important. Contact an attorney at Claery & Hammond to help determine separation date and get the most out of your divorce.