McCourt California Divorce Heads for Trial

With the baseball season more than half-gone, and their trial date rapidly approaching, this seems like a good moment to check in on one of the state’s higher-profile Southern California divorce actions: the case of Dodger’s owner Frank McCourt and his estranged wife Jamie.

Some observers have predicted that this may turn out to be the costliest divorce in California history (which, if you think about it, really would be saying something). Whether that proves to be true or not, this Los Angeles divorce has offered the rest of us some insight into the lifestyles of the very, very rich as the McCourts have traded accusations of lavish living on the Dodger corporate tab.

The legal issues of the divorce seem likely to turn on the couple’s Marital Property Agreement or, as ESPN calls it: a “seven-page agreement that will, should Frank get his way, leave him with the team and her with a bunch of empty houses.” Jamie McCourt has attacked the document’s legitimacy for months and may ultimately ask the Los Angeles Family Law Court to void it on the grounds that it specifies an unfair division of the couple’s property. The extent to which any of this will affect the (currently third-place) Dodgers is a subject of much heated speculation in the sports media.

For the rest of us, it is all a reminder that a pre-nuptial agreement or other document seeking to divide up assets long before a Los Angeles or Orange County divorce has crossed either partner’s mind is not always an iron-clad way of avoiding strife when the marriage finds it way to California family court. This, more than anything else in this increasingly contentious case, is a reminder of the important advice an experienced Orange County family law attorney can offer both before and during a Los Angeles, Orange County or San Bernardino divorce case.

Whether your goal is to head off potential conflict before getting married, or to sort out a couple’s complex affairs as a marriage is coming to an end, consulting with a Southern California divorce, annulment and community property lawyer at every stage of the process is essential if you hope to navigate the legal system smoothly.

ESPN.com: FAQ: McCourts, divorce and the Los Angeles Dodgers

Fox Sports: Stingy McCourts should sell Dodgers