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Minnesotans with divorce deal encouraged by high-profile ruling

Months ago, former Los Angeles Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt filed a motion to have her divorce property settlement with former Dodgers owner and ex-husband Frank McCourt thrown out. Despite receiving a healthy $131 million in the deal, Jamie claimed she did not receive a fair share of the true value of the parties' marital assets. Jamie filed this motion in large part because after entering into the divorce settlement agreement, Frank sold the Dodgers team for over $2 billion.

Claiming she was misled as to the value of the team, Jamie asked the court for another $770 million so she could share in the enormous profit that the sale of the team garnered Frank McCourt. However, the court said a deal was a deal, as Jamie had failed to set forth enough evidence to show a misrepresentation was made. The well-publicized order was received with mixed emotions by those with divorce settlements in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

When one person files for a divorce, a legal process is set in motion to determine, among other things, which party will get what marital property. As is the case with any type of legal matter, the dispute can be settled with a written instrument whereby the parties agree how their assets will be shared. In high asset divorce cases, this settlement agreement can be a very important document.

Investments and business interests are split up during a settlement so both husband and wife can go their separate ways. This arrangement, however, is risky since the true value of an asset may be unclear. If an asset suddenly appreciates, or depreciates, one of the ex-spouses may all of sudden feel that the deal is no longer fair. Unfortunately for that spouse, as this case illustrates, modifying a settlement agreement is not easily accomplished.

Source: USA Today, "Judge denies request to toss McCourt divorce deal," Sept. 9, 2013

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