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Former Dodgers owner caught in divorce fees fight

When Frank McCourt, former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, divorced his wife Jamie in 2012, Jamie received $131 million tax-free as part of the divorce settlement. New York readers may remember that she was also given several of the luxury homes the couple had owned together. Part of the agreement, however, stated that if either member of the couple later wanted to contest the divorce settlement, he or she would pay the other's attorney fees.

Jamie contested the divorce settlement by claiming that Frank had falsely represented the value of the Dodgers, making it seem as though the team was worth less than it actually was. It was sold in 2012 for $2 billion. The court denied the claims, and she is now being ordered to reimburse Frank the $1.9 million he spent on attorney fees. At present, the ruling is tentative. Jamie's lawyers have 15 days to file an objection, and if no objections are filed, the ruling will become final. Her lawyers have previously asserted that the court fees are excessive.

The judge in the case noted that Jamie McCourt is "sophisticated," and she has previously been involved in the ownership of the Dodgers and in litigation pertaining to it. Her case comes on the heels of a civil case in which a man is seeking compensation from Frank McCourt and the Dodgers, alleging that he was beaten at a game and suffered extensive injuries as a result.

Though divorce settlements and prenuptial agreements don't always hold up in court, they have a greater likelihood of being respected if both parties spent time carefully. The judge in this case noted that the agreement was the result of detailed negotiations between the parties and their respective attorneys.

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