We are still talking about the most recent hearing in the Frank and Jamie McCourt divorce. The couple made headlines for months in 2010 -- and 2011, 2012 and now 2013 -- as they argued over the ownership of the Dodgers baseball team. At the heart of the dispute was a drafting error: The couple signed different versions of the post-nuptial agreement when Frank purchased the team. It was up to the court to determine whether either version was valid.
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.
Chicago Cubs fans may not be happy with their team's place in the standings, but there may be a sense of schadenfreude in knowing that one of the most reviled men in baseball, former Dodgers' owner Frank McCourt, is back in court. McCourt's ex-wife Jamie says she reluctantly filed suit after other approaches failed. She says McCourt understated the value of the Dodgers in the couple's property settlement.
A survey last fall showed that family law practitioners are handling more marital agreements (also known as prenuptial agreements) than they had in the past. Couples are apparently taking the time to assess their non-marital property and to plan their financial futures before they get married. Unfortunately, data for individual states wasn't available, so it's hard to know where Illinois falls.
We had a lively discussion this weekend about marital and non-marital property. A friend of ours was visiting Chicago from one of the prairie states, and after a few minutes of conversation she went into a panic. Not a breathing-in-a-paper bag panic, but definitely a wild-eyed "yikes" panic.
We've talked about the McCourt divorce before. The couple has been arguing over the ownership of the Dodgers baseball team that he, or they, acquired during their marriage. The case has involved conflicting contract language and months of court time. (The couple is in settlement talks at this writing.) When the ownership agreements between the husband and wife were thrown out, the court left the McCourts to figure out the division of property on their own.
The Jamie and Frank McCourt divorce trial has been unfolding half a continent away, but the details are riveting to family law attorneys and baseball fans around the country. Most of us can't even imagine owning a baseball team, much less arguing over whether it was covered in a post-nup. Or two. Or six.