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Frank McCourt prevails in legal fees battle

A judge has ruled that the former spouse of Frank McCourt must repay $1.9 million in legal fees after she unsuccessfully challenged the terms of their divorce in court. As Colorado Rockies fans know, Mr. McCourt was the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and sold the franchise for $2 billion back in 2012. His former spouse took legal action claiming that he sold the team for less than it was worth to reduce the amount that he had to give her.

In his ruling, the judge declared that wording in the couple's divorce settlement agreement required the person who challenged the settlement after it was finalized was required to pay the legal fees of the other side. The ruling further stated that McCourt's spouse was a sophisticated individual and that she knew what she agreed to when the settlement was being negotiated.

As part of the divorce settlement, she received $131 million tax-free in addition to a variety of properties that the couple had purchased during their marriage. Unless the lawyers for the former Mrs. McCourt file an objection to the ruling within 15 days, the ruling will become final. There was no indication as to whether her attorney's were planning on appealing the ruling.

In a divorce case, it is possible to contest a divorce agreement after it has been agreed to and finalized in court. Reasons to challenge a ruling may include the discovery of hidden assets that should have been included in the property division process or assets that were sold for less than market value. Consulting with a family law attorney may make it easier for an individual to contest a divorce settlement after it has been approved by a judge.

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

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