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McCourt divorce hearings turn ugly

Frank and Jamie McCourt, the very public couple going through a divorce in Los Angeles and the owners of the financially-challenged Dodgers of Major League Baseball, are going through a recent blowout over MLB and commissioner Bud Selig.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jamie McCourt has accused her ex-husband of failing to honor his court-ordered spousal support payments. She claims that he would rather continue his “jihad” against the MLB.

Frank McCourt recently asked the court to reduce his spousal support payments claiming they exceeded his income of $5 million. His ex-wife’s divorce attorney argues, however, that he has access to at least $70 million in assets.

The couple’s financial situation in the divorce was made more complicated when the Dodgers were forced to file for bankruptcy. The L.A. Times reports that including the Dodgers, Frank McCourt’s assets are worth approximately $900 million, while Jamie McCourt’s assets are worth $39 million.

CBS Los Angeles reports that Frank McCourt is trying to bring Selig into the argument, stating that Selig has taken more money out of professional baseball than McCourt.

McCourt petitions for lower spousal support

Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has asked a judge to lower the monthly spousal support payments he is required to pay his former wife during their divorce proceedings, according to multiple reports.

Last May, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon ordered McCourt to pay his ex-wife, Jamie McCourt, $225,000 a month in spousal support and more than $400,000 to maintain multiple homes. However, in court documents filed last week, McCourt claims he can no longer afford to support his former wife’s extravagant lifestyle.

McCourt has reportedly paid more than $5 million to pay the mortgages of seven homes of the last year, in addition to shelling out $2.7 million in temporary spousal support. Court filings show that Jamie McCourt has refused to rent out or sell the seven properties, all of which are titled in her name.

McCourt claims that while the Dodgers are his property, the homes belong exclusively to Jamie. He has officially requested that the homes be sold in the event that the court rules that both the team and properties belong to the McCourts together.

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in June, in a move to preserve his ownership of the team despite his financial hardships. In a statement, McCourt said the team was forced to declare bankruptcy after Major League Baseball refused to approve a media transaction between the Dodgers and Fox television that would have generated millions of dollars.

Dodgers Ownership Battle in Divorce

Cordell & Cordell co-founder Joseph Cordell appeared on Sporting News Radio with Steve Czaban to discuss the Los Angeles Dodgers situation between owner Frank McCourt and his wife, Jamie, who are locked in a bitter dispute regarding ownership of the Dodgers as part of their divorce proceedings.

Jamie is claiming partial ownership of the Dodgers in one of the largest asset division cases in the U.S. in recent years.

According to Cordell, what Frank McCourt is going through, albeit on a much grander scale, is something that is not foreign to a lot of guys going through divorce who own a small business – the husband owns the business and his wife is threatening to have it sold, interfere with its operations, etc.

“So these guys will scramble about trying to get liquidity and cash to ‘get rid of her,’ and often they will have to make decisions that are not in the best interests of their businesses or their real estate holdings,” Cordell said. “So they bring in a lot of debt that jeopardizes the business in the long run. Frank McCourt is living that same dilemma just in a very large, massive way.”

The McCourts had recently reached a settlement that would have allowed Frank McCourt to retain ownership of the team if Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig had approved of a media transaction between the team and Fox television.

MLB rejected the Fox contract, thus forcing the Dodgers to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Under the Chapter 11 filing, the salaries and benefits of Dodger employees will be paid and the team will operate within their existing budget to sign and acquire players.

“MLB has (Frank) cornered,” Cordell said. “His greatest hope is the bankruptcy court is going to set aside or at least ignore this constitutional provision in Major League Baseball that says MLB can automatically take the team and sell it in the event of a Chapter 11 filing.”

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide who exclusively handle family law cases, including property division.

Dodgers bankruptcy complicates divorce

The Los Angeles Dodgers were forced to file for bankruptcy protection in a move that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said was caused by Major League Baseball’s refusal to approve of a media transaction between the team and Fox television.

The bankruptcy is likely to further complicate the divorce proceedings between McCourt and his wife, Jamie, who have been locked in a bitter dispute regarding ownership of the Dodgers. The McCourts had recently reached a settlement that would have allowed Frank McCourt to retain ownership of the team if MLB Commissioner Bud Selig had approved of the long-term Fox contract.

McCourt reportedly planned on using at least $10 million of the proceeds to pay Jamie, as well as for personal use, according to the New York Post.

In a statement, Frank McCourt said Selig “turned his back on the Dodgers” by denying the television contract, which reportedly would have solved the team’s financial struggles.

“I simply cannot allow the Commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer. It is my hope that the Chapter 11 process will create a fair and constructive environment to get done what we couldn’t achieve with the Commissioner directly,” McCourt stated.

Under the Chapter 11 filing, the salaries and benefits of Dodger employees will be paid and the team will operate within their existing budget to sign and acquire players. Ticket prices and other stadium amenities will also be maintained.

Dodgers owner reaches divorce settlement

Frank and Jamie McCourt announced they have reached a divorce settlement that would allow Frank McCourt to retain ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers if he wins two crucial decisions, according to published reports.

The settlement is contingent on whether Major League Baseball approves of a long-term television contract between the Dodgers and Fox. If MLB baseball commissioner Bud Selig rejects the deal, the settlement will be voided and the former couple will resume proceedings in divorce court.

Without the contract, the McCourts will allegedly be unable to meet the Dodgers’ June 30 payroll, according to published reports.

The McCourts also agreed to a one-day trial so that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon can determine whether the title to the Dodgers is solely in Frank McCourt’s name or if the team should be considered community property in the divorce. If the judge rules the team is community property the McCourts will be forced to split their assets 50-50, which will likely result in the sale of the team unless Frank raises enough money to buy Jamie out.

Last year, Gordon threw out a marital property agreement that would have given Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers. However, Jamie McCourt reportedly asserted her claim to half-ownership of the team under California community property law.