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McCourts head back to court over divorce settlement

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2013 | High Asset Divorce

Any divorce may involve emotional issues. Disputes over assets and debts in a complex divorce may create further tensions. But asset valuation itself need not involve emotional issues. Determining the value of a business, for instance, can require complex analysis of the business and the market alike. A recent California lawsuit seeks to revisit asset valuation issues that arose during the McCourt divorce.

Jamie McCourt alleges in her lawsuit that Frank McCourt unfairly persuaded her to arrive at a settlement in the couple’s divorce. Reports indicate that Ms. McCourt says that she agreed to a $131 million settlement in the divorce. She claims that Mr. McCourt fraudulently convinced her roughly six months before the team was sold that his total assets amounted to $300 million. Two months after the divorce was finalized, the Los Angeles Dodgers sold for $2.1 billion.

Jamie McCourt now wants the court to set aside the $131 million divorce settlement. She says in court papers that she should be entitled to at least $900 million in the property settlement, apparently based upon the March 2012 sale of the Dodgers.

The lawsuit is scheduled for a three day trial before a judge without a jury. A judge ruled Monday that Ms. McCourt will not be entitled to use Major League documents generated during mediation on the sale of the team in the post-divorce proceeding. That ruling came from the federal bankruptcy judge who presided in the Dodger’s bankruptcy. Frank McCourt struck a deal in mediation that included special terms on the auction of the team–the terms leading to the sale of the team were kept secret.

The bankruptcy court issued an order that the mediation was to remain confidential. The judge ruled Monday that he will enforce the order, “because it was an essential ingredient” in resolving the Dodger’s bankruptcy proceeding.