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Judge orders Frank McCourt’s ex-wife to pay his legal fees

New York baseball fans might remember Frank McCourt, former owner of the Dodgers. After three decades of marriage, Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie ended their marriage. Their divorce settlement detailed a division of assets that gave Jamie McCourt $131 million and luxury homes, but one of the terms said that if either party contested the agreement that person would pay the others legal fees. Jamie McCourt opposed the settlement, which led a superior court judge to order her to pay her ex-husband’s legal expenses.

New York fans of the Dodgers baseball team might be interested because McCourt is a former owner of the team. He sold the team in 2012 for $2 billion. McCourt’s ex-wife used the team’s sale to contest their divorce agreement, alleging that her ex shortchanged the team’s value. The judge rejected her accusations in September 2013, and then ruled on June 24 that she needed to reimburse her ex-husband for the $1.9 million he accumulated in legal fees opposing her motion. Her legal team argued that the amount was excessive but didn’t sway the judge’s decision.

The judge’s ruling stated that the divorce agreement had clearly been considered and intended to be an end to the divorce litigation. Her attorneys have 15 days from June 24 to file objections before the decision becomes final. The ruling was issued at an interesting time for Frank McCourt, who’s also involved in a civil trial brought against him and the Dodgers by a man who was attacked in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium in 2011.

When one party feels that the terms of a divorce settlement are unfair, he or she might be able to contest the agreement. However, it could save time and money to have an attorney assist with negotiations so that people are satisfied with the terms and don’t feel the need to oppose an agreement.

Source: CBC Sports, “Judge Favors Frank McCourt in Divorce Fees Fight“, The Associated Press, June 26, 2014

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