Centuori & Associates, PC

Arizona fans of the L.A. Dodgers may remember former owner Frank McCourt's 2012 sale of the team for $2 billion. While the sale might lead some to believe that McCourt is doing extremely well financially, financial turmoil in the form of a lawsuit and post-divorce issues have also managed to find him. McCourt and the Dodgers are currently facing a lawsuit for over $36 million filed by a man who was allegedly attacked in the Dodgers stadium parking lot. In addition to selling the team, he also divorced his wife of almost 30 years, Jamie McCourt, that same year.

As part of the divorce settlement, Jamie was given $131 million, as well as ownership of several luxury homes that the couple had once owned together. However, the settlement agreement contained a clause stating that if either party chose to challenge the agreement in court, he or she would be responsible for covering the other party's attorney fees. Jamie's lawyers opted to challenge the settlement, asserting that McCourt had misrepresented the value of the Dodgers and thus shortchanged their client.

The judge in the case did not agree, however, and the claims were denied. Jamie was still responsible for covering Frank's legal fees of $1.9 million. Her lawyers contested the ruling, arguing that $1.9 million was excessive. The judge in the case reviewed the agreement and found that it had been made carefully and deliberately with input from both parties. The ruling on fees will stand unless her lawyers opt to file an objection within 15 days.

This particular provision was presumably meant to serve as a disincentive to future litigation. A divorce attorney can assist in negotiating a settlement agreement that is intended to be comprehensive.

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

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