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Baseball fans wonder if Dodgers owner hit grand slam in divorce

Colorado Dodgers' fans learned that the ex-wife of team owner Frank McCourt would have to be satisfied with only $131 million. That amount was awarded to Jamie McCourt in her divorce from the Los Angeles Dodgers owner, who went on to sell the team for a record $2.15 billion just five months later. A judge told her that she had no legal basis to share in the $1.278 billion profit her ex-husband scored in the deal.

In his ruling, the judge characterized Jamie McCourt's claims that she didn't know the potential value of her husband's baseball team as not being credible. One group that did seem to know the team's value was that of the buyers, who immediately agreed to a Time Warner plan to start a regional sports network based around the Dodgers. They cashed in that deal to the tune of $8.5 billion. Under that deal, Frank McCourt would still get at least $7 million each year from fees the Dodgers would pay to rent the stadium's parking lots. He also reserved the right to sell his stake in the lots for another $150 million.

The judge ruled that Jamie McCourt, who had been involved in team and regional sports network valuations with the Dodgers as one of the team's high-ranking executives, could not have been unaware of the team's potential value. Jamie McCourt's attorney said that his client planned to appeal the ruling.

In Colorado, divorce legal issues may be made easier to tackle with the assistance of an attorney with experience in high asset divorce. Such help may include working out agreements for spousal support, child custody and visitation and other issues couples face at the end of a marriage.

Source: LA Times, "Jamie McCourt loses bid to throw out Dodgers divorce deal", Bill Shaikin, September 09, 2013

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