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high profile divorce

Former Dodgers owner back in court in high net-worth divorce

When it comes to divorce settlements, many believe that once the ink is dry, there is little to nothing that can be done to alter the agreement. However, a very high-profile and high net-worth divorce is headed back to court a year after a settlement was reached, and may result in a different division of assets than formerly agreed upon. Many in Massachusetts followed the headline-grabbing divorce between Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie McCourt. The couple reached an agreement in Oct. 2010. Jamie McCourt accepted $131 million in exchange for relinquishing her claim to co-ownership of the Dodgers. However, when her ex-husband sold the team in May 2012 for an estimated $2 billion, that agreement began to appear unbalanced. An attorney for Jamie McCourt points out that settlement was reached based on Frank McCourt’s estimate that the team would be worth no more than $300 million. That would put the division of assets somewhere in the ballpark of 93 percent for Frank McCourt, and 7 percent for Jamie McCourt. The most recent filing asserts that Frank McCourt committed fraud by misrepresenting the value of the team during the divorce process. However, even if he undervalued the Dodgers without any intent to defraud his wife, the divorce settlement could still be set aside and revisited. While altering an existing divorce agreement is uncommon and not easily accomplished, there are circumstances in which the original terms were reached using financial data that was substantially incorrect. As this case makes

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Will property division tarnish amicable celebrity divorce?

Celebrity couple Courtney Cox and Davis Arquette has filed for divorce. The couple has been married since 1999, but separated two years ago. Despite at least one attempt to reconcile, the marriage seems destined to dissolve through the requisite court procedures. Massachusetts residents will remember the actress from her role on the hit show “Friends.” The attractive couple has long received a great deal of media attention, which will likely not abate as they work out issues of child custody and property division in divorce court. What makes this celebrity divorce unique is the lack of acrimony between the parties. Cox and Arquette have spoken kindly of one another throughout their separation, and have appeared together at multiple events. They have asserted that they are, and will remain “best friends.” The two filed their divorce papers on the same day, June 8, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the filing. They are also pursuing joint legal and physical custody of their 8-year-old daughter, and are committed to raising her together. At the present time, neither party has retained an attorney; they are planning to represent themselves during the court proceedings. Massachusetts fans of the couple will no doubt watch this divorce as it unfolds. Many are hoping that the courtesy and grace with which the two have handled their split will continue. However, even what could be considered a simple divorce proceeding can become contentious. In a case involving spouses with high net worth it becomes even more difficult

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Complex property division at core of high net-worth divorce

There are many instances of divorce where complex property division issues arise. This is especially the case where the individuals involved are part of a high-profile couple. Regardless of whether the divorce is filed in Massachusetts or anywhere else, the fact is that the more assets there are, the greater the disputes and the more complex the property division issues. A recent example comes from the pending divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt. Frank McCourt is the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He claims sole ownership of the team, although his wife says it is community property and as such, she believes she is entitled to half its value. That issue is yet to be decided, and the ultimate question of the outlook of the Dodgers will have to await a separate bankruptcy determination regarding the baseball franchise. A prolonged battle concerning the complex property division disputes is anticipated and a divorce trial is expected to start in the spring or summer of 2012. The lawyers have highlighted that, apart from complex property division matters, including two properties in Massachusetts, permanent spousal support and ownership of the baseball franchise remain major stumbling blocks. And all issues concerning the Dodgers hark back to the pending bankruptcy proceedings. This adds to the complexity of the matters at hand with divorce and complex property division, as well as bankruptcy issues overlapping one another. While Frank McCourt hopes to retain control of ownership of the Dodgers, that decision may be taken out of

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Marital property still not settled by pre or postnuptial agreements

Marital property division is, of course, a significant part of any divorce. Wealthy people, such as former Massachusetts resident Frank McCourt, often use prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to define how certain marital property will be divided in the event the phrase “’til death do us part” takes on a different meaning. McCourt is the embattled owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who is also in the midst of a contentious and high profile divorce from his wife of many years. He and his wife previously executed a postnuptial agreement that was prepared by a Boston law firm. A postnuptial agreement is a contract entered into by a couple after they have already been married. Its intent is normally to agree on a division of assets in the event of a subsequent separation or divorce. The McCourt’s executed such an agreement, but it came under fire in the divorce litigation currently pending. Pre and postnuptial agreements are legally binding documents that may well help couples resolve issues that often come up during the division of assets. Not every couple entering into marriage needs a prenuptial agreement, but it is generally helpful for couples who both have acquired assets prior to marriage, if either soon-to-be spouse has children they want to retain their inheritance, or if one spouse has a greater income than the other. A consultation with an attorney can help in determining your pre and post marital needs. In Massachusetts, an attorney with experience in resolving disputes over complex property

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