For 12 seasons, from 1985 to 1996, Lenny Dykstra was a star major league baseball player. He later became a celebrity investment guru, writing a syndicated column and dispensing investment advice on national television. Today, reduced to bankruptcy and near-homelessness, he blames his troubles on his creditors (several of whom are presently suing him). Recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Ventura County Star detailing Dykstra’s troubles do not paint a particularly sympathetic portrait of the three-time All Star, but they do highlight a connection between personal financial crisis and marital trouble ending, for Dykstra, in a California divorce filing.
Dykstra’s financial woes (19 lawsuits, $37 million in debts, defaulting on not one but two estates) would take too long to detail here. From an Orange County family law perspective, however, the telling remark is one his wife Teri made to the Star (the couple are separated but not yet formally divorced). As Lenny’s business ventures began to go sour the “very, very charming, funny, witty” man she met two decades ago slowly changed “into someone she no longer wants to be around.” Today, Teri lives with the couple’s children at a rented property in Thousand Oaks. A judge awarded her sole possession of Lenny’s $5700 a month MLB pension.
For his part, the ex-baseball star blames his troubles on the bankers who loaned him tens of millions of dollars, telling the Star: “They’re the ones responsible for me losing $38 million. They’re the ones responsible for a 25 year marriage being dismantled piece-by-piece.”
While the Dykstra family’s case is, perhaps, a bit extreme it highlights a much simpler truth: financial troubles can often set an otherwise sound relationship on the road to a California divorce. It is especially important in such situations to have a compassionate and experienced Southern California divorce attorney on your side to assure a fair division of both assets and liabilities. Blaming the banks may make one or both of you feel better, but it does not solve the immediate legal issues arising from a California separation and divorce filing. To keep these from spiraling out of control an early consultation with a Los Angeles or Orange County family law lawyer is a wise precaution.
Wall Street Journal: Dykstra mansion on the market for $14.9 million
Ventura County Star: Ex-baseball player Lenny Dykstra tries to cope with personal, professional losses