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Frank McCourt’s former wife ordered to pay fees

Missouri readers may be interested in the a recent decision made by a Superior Court judge in a high-profile divorce case. When Frank McCourt, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his wife divorced in 2012, their settlement agreement included language intended to bring an end to litigation in the matter of their divorce, according to a decision rendered on June 24, 2014. The judge also suggested that the document included terms making the party who contests the agreement liable for the legal fees incurred by the other party. The woman chose to contest the terms and was eventually ordered to pay for her former husband’s attorneys’ fees.

The judge ruled that the woman must give her former husband $1.9 million even though her attorneys protested in April, calling the amount excessive. The ruling will not be finalized until 15 days after June 24; during that period, she could file an objection.

In the divorce settlement, McCourt agreed to pay his former wife $131 million tax free, and she was also given ownership of multiple luxury homes. After the divorce was finalized, McCourt sold the Dodgers for more than $2 billion, and the woman attempted to contest the divorce settlement, suggesting that McCourt had undervalued the team during negotiations. Her accusations were rejected by the judge in September even though he noted that the woman had been involved in the operation of the team.

As this case shows, the terms of the divorce agreement may be difficult to overturn, and the valuation of certain assets during negotiations might be important to the financial well-being of one party after the marriage ends. Individuals who are involved in a divorce case that includes complicated or difficult-to-value assets might benefit from working with a divorce attorney.

Source: ABC News, “Judge Favors Frank McCourt in Divorce Fees Fight“, Anthony McCartney, June 26, 2014