Berman & Asbel, LLP

High asset divorce of Dodger's owner headed back to court

Baseball fans in Pennsylvania and across the nation are likely aware of the high profile divorce that ended last year between Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife, Jamie McCourt. The split was not only high profile, it was also a high asset divorce due to the couple's ownership of the team. After two years of court appearances, the divorce was finalized last year.

As a part of the settlement, Jamie McCourt signed away her rights as co-owner of the team for a $131 million payout. The amount was apparently determined based on Frank McCourt's estimate of the value of their marital assets as less than $300 million. The agreement became unsatisfactory to Jamie McCourt when Frank McCourt went on to sell the Dodgers for over $2 billion.

An attorney for Jamie McCourt points out that, in the divorce settlement, Jamie McCourt received approximately 7 percent of the family assets, leaving Frank McCourt with the remaining 93 percent. The former Mrs. McCourt attempted to resolve the situation outside of court, but when that possibility failed, she felt that there was no other means of recourse in the matter. She claims that her ex-husband fraudulently undervalued their assets and is asking the court to set aside their divorce settlement.

This case demonstrates the issues that can face couples embroiled in a high asset divorce. It also illustrates that there are avenues of legal recourse available when a party believes that their divorce settlement was fraudulent or the result of a mistake. As this case heads back to court in November, additional details will likely come out regarding the sale of the team and the assets held by both parties. For those in Pennsylvania who feel that they have received a divorce settlement that is similarly unbalanced, they should be sure to understand their rights under the law as they seek to remedy the situation.

Source: seattlepi.com, "APNewsBreak: Ex-Dodger owner back in divorce court," Andrew Dalton, Sept. 27, 2012

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