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CEO of energy giant must pay nearly a billion in alimony

When people are divorced in Arizona, many are concerned about how much money they will have to pay to their ex-spouse. This could be in child support, alimony or property division. One of the more contentious issues involving money can be alimony or spousal maintenance. Understandably, some are reluctant to pay their former spouse due to lingering conflict from the divorce. Whatever their opinion, though, the law states that a person may need to pay their ex-spouse monthly alimony.

Recently the CEO of Continental Resources, Inc., an energy giant in Oklahoma, was ordered to pay his ex-wife $995.4 million in property division alimony. He is to pay over $320 million directly to his ex-wife during the remainder of 2014, and then pay $7 million a month starting in 2015 until the rest has been paid off. The ex-wife also received three different properties that have an estimated combined value of $22.8 million. The CEO himself did receive over $2 billion worth of assets, however.

Of course, only a select few people in Arizona have the type of money that the CEO of Continental Resources, Inc. has, but nonetheless many are ordered to pay alimony based on a percentage of their assets and income. There is no set formula for spousal maintenance; it is instead based on analyzing certain factors.

These factors include how long the marriage lasted, the standard of living experienced during the union, the needs of the spouse receiving alimony, the ability of the paying spouse to pay, whether one spouse sacrificed a career to further the other spouse's career, the amount of time and education needed to join the workforce again, the age of the spouse needing alimony and others. After analyzing everything, a judge would order an amount of alimony, which could be a lump sum or a monthly amount for a certain amount of time or indefinitely.

Many couples in Arizona are divorced each year and some will have to deal with determining alimony. This can be a complicated issue as it is based on factors as opposed to a formula. Experienced attorneys may be able to help one analyze these factors and guide one through the other aspects of their divorce.

Source: The Boston Herald, "Energy tycoon ordered to pay ex-wife nearly $1B," AP, November 10, 2014

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