What’s Yours Is Mine And What’s Mine You’re Not Getting Any Part Of It ………………….
It’s often been said that divorce can either be contentious or it can be amicable between the two parties. That being said , a lot of that has to do with how each party conducts themselves and whether or not there’s still a great deal of acrimony between the two. Speaking personally , for myself it came down to just signing the divorce papers after seventeen years of marriage but having been with and knowing my ex for over 25 years. That asides , I doubt our divorce has been anywhere as contentious as is being now being played out between Los Angeles Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt and his soon to be ex-wife Jamie McCourt. Such has been the unsavory nature and the salaciousness of the allegations being leveled between the two. That the content would be ripe for a tv ‘movie of the week’ , let alone perhaps several episodes of a daytime soap.
Jamie McCourt for her part, is alleging that she was coerced into signing a pre-nuptial agreement that in essence denies her right as a co-owner of the franchise. With there being communal property at stake in the divorce and under California law , under the determination of a presiding judge . The assets of the two spouses can be split equally under his determination . Frank McCourt is one of the wealthiest Californians nd said to be worth an estimated $1.2 billion but obviously those assets are combined with that of his soon to be ex-wife. At stake in the commercial real estate developer’s empire , is his ‘jewel in the crown’, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The franchise is worth an estimated $ 750 million . The ramifications will be vast if the presiding judge does find in Jamie McCourt’s favor. As it is, the organization and its very structure could be threatened by the legal entanglement within the divorce courts. It’d appear that everyone within the Dodgers’ organization will be waiting on the verdict with baited breath. As to what the fans of the Dodgers might be making of this all , there isn’t much of an opinion to be had at present. Suffice to say , that as long as the club isn’t torn apart then they will be entirely happy with whatever the outcome that the judges deems fit to make as a final decision. But herein lies the rub , the club end up being sold to meet any judgment should it be thought that Jamie McCourt has a right of claim in the part ownership of the club. If some sort of agreement cannot be amicably be reached between Frank McCourt and his ex-wife . Then the judge could seek an order that would in fact McCourt to sell the franchise. This has to be something that Bud Selig and the league’s hierarchy has to be following the situation with intense scrutiny.
Courtesy of Yahoo Sports
By Tim Brown, Yahoo Sports
Los Angeles – Frank McCourt picks up the phone on a cold and gray day and there is lightness in his voice.
He has vacationed recently with his four sons, he says, which has filled his heart. And now, after an unusually dark winter, the Los Angeles Dodgers owner is looking forward to spring.
“I can’t wait to get out to Camelback,” he says of the team’s year-old spring training facility in the Arizona desert. “And I can’t wait for opening day.”
If the empire does indeed come apart, it will be draped in red, white and blue bunting.
In the months since Frank and Jamie McCourt announced their separation, an early-evening press release followed closely by Frank firing Jamie as CEO of the Dodgers, and three days later by Jamie filing for divorce, much of it accessorized by random gunning for each other’s knees, concern for the future of the Dodgers has gripped the city like a rush-hour hail storm.
As if to honor the murky taillights ahead, the club sat out the bidding for every major free agent and did not engage when high-end players became available by trade, inactivity viewed by anxiety-prone, post-O’Malley Dodger fans as signs the team would soon be swallowed whole by community property laws, attorneys’ fees, paper fortunes, marital-property agreements and locksmith bills.
Amid speculation otherwise, Frank McCourt insisted he is financially secure and so are the Dodgers, that he had no plans to take on minority partners, and that he would not be forced to share ownership of the club with anyone, including – or especially – his wife.
“I have no trepidation whatsoever,” he said. “I think we’re in a great situation right now with the club. I think the results speak for themselves.”
Further, he said, “I fully expect my boys to own the team someday.”
A court could decide from which parent the Dodgers would be passed down.
Through her representatives, Jamie McCourt declined to be interviewed. Her attorney, entertainment lawyer Bert Fields, argued a custody battle for the Dodgers will not harm the franchise, unless it concludes with Frank as the sole owner.
“Unlike Jamie, I don’t think Frank is willing to spend what Jamie will to keep them competitive,” Fields said. “You might ask him how much money he took out of the organization last year. You might be surprised. Rather than spend it on pitching.”
Through a spokesperson, McCourt said he would not engage in a point-by-point defense of his finances or ownership practices.
In preparation for her return to her Dodger Stadium office, the one she was locked out of in October, Jamie McCourt, Fields said, has lined up “well-funded partners” in order to meet Frank’s price. The Dodgers, Frank said, are not for sale.
At the center of it all is a postnuptial contract signed by both McCourts more than five years ago, in which – Frank’s attorneys allege – Jamie would cede the Dodgers to Frank if the two divorced. In return – they say – Jamie would receive the couple’s many real estate holdings, including two properties each in Malibu, Cape Cod and the Holmby Hills section of L.A., along with a condo in Vail, Colo., and land in Montana and Cabo San Lucas.
While the current value of the real estate cannot be precisely determined, the McCourts purchased the nine properties from 1998 to 2008 for about $115 million. In April 2009, Forbes magazine estimated the Dodgers to be worth $722 million, $300 million more than what the McCourts paid for the team six years ago. In court filings, Jamie estimated the couple’s worth at $1.2 billion.
Jamie’s lawyers suggest she was coerced into signing the contract and claim she is co-owner of the Dodgers. Courts overturn such agreements, Fields said, “all the time.”
Frank says the contract is “very clear, simple, straightforward and binding,” and that his estranged wife has no legal claim to the ballclub. A trial that will determine the validity of the agreement is scheduled to begin May 24 and could redirect the course of the franchise. The sides have agreed to decide other issues related to their divorce at a later, undetermined date.
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For Frank McCourt , while many Dodgers’ fans were somewhat dubious of the owner’s original intentions , given the fact that initially he was unwilling to open up the purse strings. With the introduction of Ned Colletti as the team’s general manager and that of Joe Torre as their manager. There seems to renewed sense of competitiveness within the organization and in the pursuit of winning. And that drive may well have been brought about with the addition of Manny Ramirez to the team. Often thought of as ‘a cancer’ within an organization . Ramirez has been anything but that , despite his 50 game suspension for the use of a banned substance. That asides , this team with Ramirez there as its lynch pin , is now being groomed for success for the impending future. And within the AL West division , their chances have been made all that much easier , considering the weakness of the teams within the division on the whole. The likes of the San Francisco Giants , Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks can’t at all really be considered effective competitors for the Dodgers, throughout much of the regular season. If anything, ‘the teams’ in question have been somewhat inconsistent in maintaining competitiveness at an optimum level of play . And when teams are said to be in that sort of mode , it’s highly unlikely that they can be viewed realistically as contenders within their division , much less the entire baseball landscape.
With there now being so much at stake, not just for either of the McCourts but also for the very structure of the Dodgers. Whatever verdict that’s forthcoming from the judge in this case. could very well disappoint one of the two parties in question. Whereas, at the same time, it will leave the hierarchy of MLB in something of a rather embarrassing position. One seriously doubts that Bud Selig wants to be forced into a situation where he and his executives are forced to essentially facilitate the sale of one the more storied franchises in all of baseball , merely because of a domestic dispute that could’ve been handled better. If both parties had just taken a step back and shown some common sense to begin with. Instead of showing inherent greed , tinged with a great many half-truths and a complete lack of common sense. Perhaps we wouldn’t have seen this all now being played out not just within the press but also in the court system and the salaciousness that’s now being derived from the case to begin with. There’s nothing like greed and a great deal of money that can drive a wedge between business partners , let alone a spouse or any other family member.
Alan aka tophatal …………………..