Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Settlement disputed after former Dodgers owner's divorce

Worcester residents, much like everyone else in the United States, undoubtedly get their fair share of celebrity gossip. But when it comes to divorce settlements, news of the rich and famous can offer some good talking points with regard to the division of marital property.

For example, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers recently returned to divorce court after his ex-wife filed a motion accusing him of fraud. She says he misrepresented their shared assets, and that resulted in her receiving an inappropriately low portion of the baseball team assets.

Frank and Jamie McCourt settled their divorce in October 2010, when the estimated worth of the Dodgers was less than $300 million. That estimation left Jamie with $131 million as her part of the divorce settlement.

However, earlier this year, the baseball team sold for the highest amount on record for such a deal -- $2 billion. Given that figure, the ex-wife says she only got 7 percent of the true value while her former spouse got the other 93 percent. She also said that if the initial property valuation offered by her husband to the court was wrong, then the divorce settlement should be thrown out and refigured.

Still, it should be noted that in June 2011 the Dodgers filed for bankruptcy. That was eight months after the divorce. When the settlement was agreed upon, Frank McCourt's financial affidavit may have listed the accurate value of the team.

Massachusetts residents who are planning a divorce may take this story into consideration. A spouse can request a valuation of shared business assets, and this can clear up any possible disputes over figures listed on the financial affidavit. The McCourt divorce also shows how former couples can find themselves back in court if there is dispute over the value of already agreed-upon marital property.

Source: KRISTV.com, "Ex-Dodger Owner Back In Divorce Court," Sept. 26, 2012

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