November 11th, 2014

$1 Billion Verdict in Oil Tycoon Harold Hamm Divorce

In one of the biggest U.S. divorce judgments, Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm has been ordered to pay his ex-wife nearly $1 billion in their divorce settlement, according to a court filing on Monday.

Oklahoma Special Judge Howard Haralson issued an 80-page ruling following a nine-week divorce trial that ended in October. According to his decision, Harold Hamm is to pay Sue Ann Hamm $995.4 million in “property division alimony.”

The ruling states that Harold Hamm, 68, will pay Sue Ann Hamm $322.7 million by the end of the year. He will make minimum payments of $7 million each month starting January 2015 until the remaining balance is paid.

Sue Ann Hamm, 58, has already received roughly $25 million since the case was filed in 2012, the court said.

Harold Hamm was granted over $2 billion in marital assets, including over 122 million shares of Continental stock, which values around $1.3 billion. Judge Haralson’s ruling allows Harold Hamm to maintain his 68% stake in the company.

The couple’s marital home in Oklahoma and most of its contents were awarded to Sue Ann Hamm, valued at more than $4.9 million. She was also given their Carmel Valley, California ranch, assessed at $17.5 million.

Harold Hamm was given ownership of “Star” and “uno,” two horses stabled at the California ranch. He is ordered to move the animals within three days.

In addition to the couple’s $750,000 Branson, Missouri home and $10 million jet, Harold Hamm “requested that he be awarded certain family pictures, a few books, guns, shotguns, some pictures, geode in quartz display and his hand tools,” according to the divorce papers.

Sue Ann Hamm sought support alimony, but Judge Haralson denied her claim, stating that her portion of the marital estate “represents a substantial sum of money.”

The couple had been married since 1988 and had no children. They married with no prenuptial agreement.

Harold Hamm drove the growth of Oklahoma City’s Continental Resources since 1990; the company is the leading oil driller in Bakken Shale play of North Dakota and Montana, the largest U.S. oil discovery decades. He is believed to own more undergrown oil than any other American.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

November 7th, 2014

Supreme Court Urged to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage

There is a serious push for the Superior Court to again consider the constitutionality of same-sex marriage after a federal appeals court upheld bans in four states on Thursday.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati ruled 2 to 1, overturning lower-court decisions in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The 6th Circuit is the first appellate court to uphold state bans since the Supreme Court blocked part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

Attorneys for plaintiffs in the 6th Circuit appellate case say they plan to ask the Supreme Court to hear their arguments.

In September, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated a lack of disagreement in the appeals courts made Supreme Court review of same-sex marriage unneeded. She stated “there will be some urgency” if the 6th Circuit supported a ban on the issue.

Roughly one month ago, the Supreme Court rejected appeals from five states requesting to maintain same-sex marriage bans.

Thursday’s ruling from the 6th Circuit states that the changing the legal definition of marriage should be decided by democratic process, not by judicial procedure.

“Surely the people should receive some deference in deciding when the time is ripe to move from one picture of marriage to another,” wrote Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton.

The opposing judge, Martha Craig Daugherty, proposed Sutton and Judge Deborah Cook may have intending on urging the issue up to the Supreme Court.

“Because the correct result is so obvious, one is tempted to speculate that the majority has purposefully taken the contrary position to create the circuit split,” Daugherty wrote.

The Supreme Court has to decide by mid-January whether it will hear the case in time to make a ruling by June. If the court declines to take up the issue, the case will be pushed to the following terms and most likely will not be ruled upon until June 2016.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

October 31st, 2014

Ricki Lake Files for Divorce

Ricki Lake has officially filed for divorce from her second husband, Christian Evans.

The former talk show host, 46, filed a divorce petition on October 16, citing irreconcilable differences, according to Los Angeles County court documents. She is reportedly paying spousal support to 42 year-old jewelry designer.

The couple started dating in 2010. In 2011 she described Evans to People Magazine as a “normal guy. We met through my best friend. He’s a nobody but he’s somebody to me. He’s everything to me.”

Evans and Lake got engaged in 2011 and secretly married in a covert Southern California ceremony in April 2012.

According to the LA Times, the couple already has a written agreement regarding the division of joint property.

This is the second divorce for “Dancing With the Stars” alumni Lake. She was previously married to illustrator Rob Sussman from 1994 until 2005. The couple had two children: Milo, 17, and Owen, 13.

Lake’s career started as an actress. She starred in several John Waters movies, such as Cry-Baby, Cecil B. Demented, and Hairspray—her film debut.

In 1993, at age 24, Lake hosted a daytime tabloid talk show titled “Ricki Lake.” She was the youngest person at the time to host a talk show on television. “Ricki Lake” ran between 1993 and 2004.

The show focused on sensationalized personal problems and topics such as romantic relationships, family discord, racism and revealing secrets. Many episodes also revolved around LGBT issues.

Lake has openly talked about her inconstant weight, which has been a frequent media target. She tweeted on Monday about her divorce:

“One of the only good things about heartbreak.. The lbs that are lost. This #shapeshifter has gone in the other direction. #thankful.”

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

October 21st, 2014

No Agreement on Same-Sex Marriage, Divorce at Vatican

After a two week long meeting at the Vatican aimed at improving outreach to modern families, the Catholic Church released a document Saturday that drastically revised previous phrasing on homosexuals and divorced families.

Pope Francis had convened over 200 bishops in a special assembly, known as a synod, to debate how the church viewed diverse families, including single mothers, gay couples, divorced and remarried couples. The draft of a “relation” was delivered at the end of the congregation.

An initial draft, released October 13, included a three-paragraph section at the end entitled “Welcoming homosexual persons.” The early writing detailed how the Church should be “accepting and valuing their (homosexuals’) sexual orientations” and that gays have “gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community.”

Conservative bishops expressed alarm to the first draft; the text released to the public on Saturday renamed the section “Providing for homosexual persons,” and changed references to same-sex “partners” to “these people.”

The updated version also states that the Church must meet gays with “respect and sensitivity,” but ultimately emphasizes there is no comparison between the marriage between man and woman to a same-sex union.

“In seeking to be merciful, some want to open up Catholic teaching on marriage, divorce, civil unions, homosexuality in a radically liberalizing direction,” said conservative Cardinal George Pell, as reported by the New York Times. “We’re not giving in to the secular agenda.”

While the synod’s writing is not a final decision, it assisted in opening debate within the Church, as Francis had aimed. The majority of bishops approved the initial draft, but a vote of two-thirds is mandatory for the assembly’s agreement.

Francis published the report revealing the vote tallies on each section, so to be transparent to readers.

The next synod will be held in October 2015 when a final relation will be issued.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

September 25th, 2014

Kris and Bruce Jenner Divorce

Kris Jenner has officially filed for divorce from Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, ending their 23-year marriage.

The documents were filed Monday, September 22 in the L.A. Superior Courthouse, citing irreconcilable differences. The filing came 11 months after the pair announced their separation exclusively to US Weekly.

The couple’s relationship and recent troubles have been documented on popular reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” The program focuses on Kris’ daughters from a previous marriage, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian.

Kris and Bruce, 64, were married in 1991 and are parents to daughters Kendall, 18, and Kylie, 17. According to the L.A. courthouse, Kylie was the only child listed on the documents.

As reported by People Magazine, Kris has requested physical and legal custody of Kylie. Additionally, she has asked to keep all her jewelry and any assets obtained after their separation. Kris requested all other assets be divided at a future time.

While the couple had officially announced their separation last October, court papers list their separation date as June 2013.

“We will always be the best of friends, because that’s the dynamic of our relationship,” Kris told People, October 2013. “We definitely get along as a family and with the kids; we’re so connected in that way. We love each other.”

Months after revealing their split, Bruce and Kris were still seen at events together. Throughout the separation, Bruce still made appearances on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

Kris couldn’t specify what lead to the eventual divorce.

“I don’t think it was the pace of life. We’ve always gone 150 miles per hour, and Bruce has more energy than anybody,” she said. “I just think it has evolved. I really can’t put my finger on it. We’re just happier now.”

Kris filed the documents “in propria persona,” meaning without legal representation.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

September 5th, 2014

32 States Ask Supreme Court to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage

Following decisions made by several states this week, 32 states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule upon the legality of same-sex marriage.

Massachusetts filed a brief Thursday, along with fourteen states that allow gay marriage, asking the justices to overturn bans in Utah and Oklahoma. Colorado, along with sixteen states, requested justices to resolve several lawsuits in Virginia, Oklahoma and Utah. They did not push the court to rule upon the ban.

The filing followed a ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Wisconsin’s and Indiana’s same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional. The decision was made by a unanimously opinioned three-judge panel, stating that the bans were “discriminatory” and “totally implausible.”

Wisconsin and Indiana had argued that allowing same-sex marriage would damage the safety of children in heterosexual marriage. In a 40-page decision, the court stated the claim is “so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously.”

Wisconsin and Indiana will be appealing the decision.

The brief also follows Wednesday’s decision in Louisiana upholding the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

Judge Martin L.C. Feldman’s ruling is the first to support a state’s decision to bar same-sex marriage since the Supreme Court’s denial of part of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. He also upheld Louisiana’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages formed in other states.

In his judgment, Feldman maintains that the laws of marriage should be determined by the individual state. He asserts the ban does not violate any fundamental rights and that Louisiana had a “legitimate interest…whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others…in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents,” as reported by the New York Times.

Next week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will hear arguments in same-sex marriage cases from Hawaii, Nevada and Idaho. Additionally, the Fifth Circuit Court awaits an appellate case regarding Texas’ same-sex marriage ban.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia currently allow same-sex marriage, resulting from court decisions, judicial action or election.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

August 27th, 2014

Neil and Pegi Young Divorce

After 36 years of marriage, Canadian rock legend Neil Young has filed for divorce from his wife Pegi.

Young, 68, filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in his hometown of San Mateo, California, on July 29th.

The couple met in 1974 at a northern California diner where Pegi waitressed. “Unknown Legend,” on Young’s 1992 album “Harvest Moon,” details their earliest years when Young frequented the diner just for an opportunity to speak with Pegi.

“I used to order just to watch her float across the floor,” he sang.

The couple has two adult children, daughter Amber and son Ben, who has cerebral palsy. Ben’s illness motivated Pegi to establish the Bridge School, located in Hillsborough, California.

The school is a non-profit organization to educate children born with serious physical impairments. The couple raises funds for the school every year with a prestigious concert in Mountain View, California.

Young was previously married to the late actress Carrie Snodgress; the couple had one son, who has a less severe form of cerebral palsy, according to the Toronto Star.

Pegi Young has sung backup on Neil’s records since the 90s and has released three solo records since 2007, on which he occasionally plays guitar. Pegi has also been touring considerably this past decade. She is also known to be Young’s muse for many of his most touching love songs.

Neil Young’s career began in the mid-1960s when he co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield. He joined Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in 1969 and eventually left to begin a highly acclaimed solo career. Over the past 45 years Young has released over 30 albums.

Early this year, Young released this 34th studio album, “A Letter Home.” He recently concluded a European Crazy Horse tour and will embark on an acoustic American tour in the fall, according to Rolling Stone. Pegi just finished a short American tour.

The couple was slated to play Farm Aid on September 13th, but Pegi’s name was recently taken off the show’s lineup.

A hearing has been scheduled for December 12th, according to Rolling Stone Magazine.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

August 20th, 2014

Divorce Granted For Transgender Marriage Cases

Last week, courts in both Arizona and California ruled that marriages of two transgender men were valid and that they can, in fact, divorce.

Thomas Beatie, 40, was born female and in 1997 he underwent assessment to determine his psychological gender. In 2002 he began a series of gender-reassignment surgeries and in 2005 legally changed his gender to male on his birth certificate.

When determined his wife was infertile, Beatie became pregnant through artificial insemination. Beatie appeared on numerous talk shows as “The Pregnant Man” and gave birth to his first child in 2008.

By 2011, the couple had two more children.

On August 13th, an Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the marriage between Thomas Beatie and Nancy J. Beatie was lawful and that their union may be dissolved by divorce.

The couple was married in Hawaii and was originally refused the power to divorce by a lower Arizona Court, recognizing the couple as same-sex and therefore an invalid marriage.

“The question before this Court is not whether the State of Arizona allows same-sex marriage or divorce, but whether the laws of the State of Arizona allow a marriage, lawfully entered into in another state, between two persons the foreign state formally recognized at the time of the marriage as male and female, to be dissolved,” the appellate decision said, as quoted in AZ Central News.

Arizona’s ruling followed a similar decision by the Superior Court of California. The previous week, the marriage of adult firm star Jake Miller, known as Buck Angel, and his wife Elayne, was ruled as valid. Miller was born female and modified his birth certificate years after the couple’s Louisiana marriage.

According to an article on Transgender Law Center, Elayne Angel argued that the union was invalid due to Miller’s female birth certificate status at the time of marriage. The Superior court ruled that Miller was legally male and that Louisiana law will identify the union as one between male and female.

Both couples are allowed to continue with their respective divorce proceedings.

According to USA Today, Beatie said in a statement released by his attorney, “I feel I have finally been recognized in Arizona as not just a man, but a human being.”

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

August 12th, 2014

Duchovny and Leoni Divorce

After a marriage spanning seventeen years, actor David Duchovny and actress Tea Leoni are officially divorcing.

Duchovny, most recently noted for his work on Showtime’s “Californication, “filed documents with New York in June, citing an “irretrievable breakdown of the relationship.” The couple settled their estate themselves, according to TMZ.

Both Duchovny and Leoni reside on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They have reportedly agreed to joint custody. Leoni will maintain primary custody over their children, Kyd Miller, 12, and Madelaine West, 15, according to the LA Times.

Duchovny, 54, will reportedly pay Leoni $40,000 in spousal support, in addition to $8,333 in child support. It is stated he will be responsible for the majority of other expenses, including summer camp, private schools and college tuition, reported People Magazine.

Duchovny and Leoni first married in 1997 and supposedly parted in 2008. In August 2008, Duchovny sought treatment for sex addiction. Two months later, representatives for both Duchovny and Leoni stated the couple had separated months previous.

At the end of October 2008, Duchovny’s lawyer announced plans to sue British tabloid, The Daily Mail, for running a story that Duchovny allegedly engaged in an affair with Hungarian tennis instructor, Edit Pakay, during his marriage to Leoni, according to TV Guide.

The couple soon reunited until June 2011, when they separated again. In a 2012 interview, Duchovny confirmed he was still married to Leoni, yet they were separated, reported the Inquirer.

Duchovny has an expansive film and television career; he is arguable best known for his work on the 90’s Sci-Fi television show, X-Files. During the show’s nine year run, Duchovny was nominated for dozens of awards and won six, including a Golden Globe in 1997.

Leoni acted in numerous movies including Deep Impact and Spanglish. She is starring in a TV series entitled Madam Secretary that will run on CBS this fall.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

March 7th, 2014

Amanda Sheppard Divorces Bryan Ferry


After being married for a bit over 2 years, Amanda Sheppard, 31, filed divorce paperwork on the grounds that Bryan Ferry, 68, has continuously unreasonable behavior.

District Judge Gibson solidified the couples’ first legal step to ending their marriage by granting them a decree nisi. Now they must wait 6 weeks and a day for the decree absolute, which is binding.

The initial divorce petition was signed on January 16th. To the question “Is the respondent’s behaviour as set out in your petition continuing?”, Sheppard marked “Yes.” It also indicated they are no longer living together.

The couple met while Sheppard was dating one of Ferry’s sons. They were married in 2011 at a resort in Turks and Caicos.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.