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More and more older couples are choosing to dissolve their marriages. But what does the reality look like when that happens? We’ll take a closer look at what you need to know before marrying, moving in, or moving on with divorce attorney Gemma Allen and divorce Judge Michele Lowrance who penned a new book, The New Love Deal, with nationally syndicated finance columnist Terry Savage.
How do you know?
So how do you know if someone is committing financial infidelity? There are ways to spot it, according to Terry Savage, a financial columnist and co-author of “The New Love Deal: Everything You Must Know before Marrying, Moving in or Moving on.”
Reuters: U.S. oil baron rewrites his company’s history; move could stave off record divorce payout
A special report by Reuters this morning reports that Continental Resources changed its website to downplay successes under CEO Harold Hamm, which may be a strategy for Hamm to avoid a divorce payout in the billions. The divorce trial of one of America’s wealthiest men, oil baron Hamm, plays out mostly in secret here at the Oklahoma County Courthouse. But an examination of the website of the company Hamm founded, Continental Resources Inc, reveals part of the billionaire’s legal strategy as he seeks to avoid what could be the largest divorce award in U.S. history.
Publicly traded Continental has been revising its corporate annals – in each case diminishing the company’s accomplishments under Hamm’s leadership or changing the dates of key achievements. Downplaying his role in Continental’s success is central to Hamm’s chances of minimizing the financial blow from his divorce, lawyers say. According to state law, if Hamm can show that market conditions – rather than his management prowess – led to Continental’s financial success, he won’t have to share those gains with his estranged wife, Sue Ann. The two never signed a prenuptial (prenup) agreement.
Reporters compared Continental’s current corporate website – www.contres.com – with a version from early this year. The analysis was done using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, a repository of past web pages. The comparison identified 18 separate items that had been recently deleted, added or revised. The changes included:
• Altering a claim that the company was first to “discover” an important oil field near the massive formation known as the Bakken Shale.
• Striking all references to Continental being “first” to successfully use or develop new technology that helped it find or pump more oil.
• Backdating the company’s hugely profitable decision to shift its exploration focus from natural gas to oil – to before Hamm’s 1988 marriage to Sue Ann. If that decision came prior to the Hamm marriage, then Sue Ann may not be entitled to reap part of the reward.
• Adding a date for when Continental moved into its most profitable drilling area. The company’s website now says that the firm moved into the Williston Basin, which straddles North Dakota and Montana, a year before the Hamms were married. The company also deleted an item that said Continental expanded into the Rocky Mountain region in 1993.
To discuss a prenup, you have to talk about divorce — and no one likes to do that.
Michele Lowrance, coauthor of “The New Love Deal: Everything You Must Know Before Marrying, Moving In, Or Moving On!,” says that our cultural sensitivity around prenups has to do with a reluctance to face the idea of an unhappy ending.
“This belief in the concept of ‘happily ever after’ offers one of the few soft spots remaining in our society, and carries with it much pleasure,” she explains.
That said, most couples planning to get married should have a prenup, particularly those bringing significant assets into their marriage. It’s like insurance: Of course you don’t intend to have an emergency, but it’s the responsible move to plan just in case. Even if you don’t have many assets to divide between the two of you, honest communication about your finances, plans, and values never hurts.
Where to start, though? A discussion about your relationship’s potential demise can be hard to have, and saying, “Honey, I want a prenup,” over dinner on date night seems like a real conversation stopper. Lowrance, who is a divorce court judge and domestic relations mediator, weighed in with some tips to initiate and navigate that tricky conversation.
Building a solid marriage can give you an energy boost at work and in your life.
The opposite is also true: Marital strife, divorce and breakups can render the most amped-up professional grief-stricken, absent-minded and overwhelmed.
“If you are defocused, it’s going to hurt your career,” Michele Lowrance, a longtime divorce-court judge who is now a domestic-relations mediator, told IBD.
Clear communication strengthens bonds and reduces damage if a divorce does happen.
The key? Be proactive, say Lowrance, divorce attorney Gemma Allen and personal-finance expert Terry Savage, co-authors of “The New Love Deal.”
Bonus: Marriage-proofing tactics hone your professional skills.
You may think a prenup agreement is something only celebrities and those with lots of or assets should consider. If so, think again.
“Just the act of creating a prenup, requiring you to discuss each other’s assets and liabilities can help,” says Terry Savage, financial expert and co-author of The New Love Deal: Everything You Must Know Before Marrying, Moving In or Moving On. “Otherwise how do you know what you’re getting into?”
In The New Love Deal, the authors — a financial expert, judge, and divorce attorney — share some of the “creative” prenup clauses they’ve seen. Click here to read the full article on MSN Money.
The authors are pragmatic and honest in their approach. They show how to reduce the odds of courting disaster. From estate
planning and insurance to cohabitation, prenuptial, and postnuptial agreements — the authors present a treasure trove of advice,
examples, and information.
Whether you are moving in together, tying the know, or untying the knot the book “The New Love Deal” can help you navigate how to talk about money when dealing with love.
Chicago divorce attorneys say billionaire CEO Ken Griffin and his wife, Anne Dias Griffin, are in the battle-plan stage of their divorce. Along with scrutinizing their prenup for possible holes, there will be a search for hidden assets. It’s a task done quickly for fear the other spouse will hide assets or make information unavailable.
Social status also comes into play for high-net-worth couples, says Gemma Allen, of the Ladden Allen family law practice in Chicago. They have to consider who gets which of the houses, the plane—and friends. The Griffins own two condos in Chicago’s Park Tower and have homes in New York, South Florida and Hawaii.
Gemma Allen, Judge Michele Lowrance and Terry Savage join WCIU host Jeanne Sparrow, discuss The New Love Deal, a book that fearlessly explores the financial issues couples confront.