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McCourts back in court over division of assets

Frank and Jamie McCourt appeared in court in April to argue a motion Jamie made last fall. The motion, which we discussed in our Sept. 28, 2012 post, asked the court to throw out the couple's settlement agreement because Frank had fraudulently misrepresented the true value of the centerpiece of their divorce, the Dodgers baseball franchise.

The McCourts divorced in a community property state, where property acquired during a marriage is generally divided 50/50 if the couple divorces. In Illinois, the approach is more equitable: The couple or the court determines property division based on, among other things, the contributions of each spouse.

Frank McCourt's attorneys argued that the matter was settled once and for all when Jamie agreed to take $131 million in exchange for any claim to the team. The couple struck the deal when the team was in bankruptcy, and, the attorneys said, the outcome was consistent with Jamie's "risk-averse" nature. According to court records, the settlement included a stipulation that the McCourts agreed to the terms "regardless of the value the assets may ultimately have."

And value is exactly what the team turned out to have. McCourt sold the team in 2012 for $2 billion. The sale was final five months after the couple signed the settlement agreement.

Jamie's argument is that Frank knew the team was worth that much and concealed the fact from her. In August 2011, he estimated the couple's assets, including the team, were worth $294 million. But Jamie believes Frank had an idea, and he failed to factor that into the financial statements.

To be continued....

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Frank McCourt attorney: Judge should have no patience with Jamie," Bill Shaikin, April 24, 2013

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