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Terms of McCourt divorce settlement upheld

A recent high-profile divorce case may be of interest to individuals in Texas who are involved in a contentious separation. The case involves Frank McCourt, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his former wife. According to a report, the former couple reached a divorce settlement in 2012 after they had been married for almost 30 years.

Later, the Dodgers were sold for $2 billion, and the woman sought to modify the divorce settlement, suggesting that the true value of the team was misrepresented during the property division negotiations. The original agreement allowed the woman to assert sole ownership over several properties that the couple had purchased together during their marriage, and she also received a tax-free sum of $131 million. The judge hearing the case noted that the woman had been involved with the operating the team, and he ruled against her claim in September 2013.

After that verdict, McCourt sought from his ex-wife reimbursement for costs related to defending the original settlement. She asserted that the amount was unreasonable in April 2014, but the judge eventually found her liable for $1.9 million in the man's attorneys' fees. He cited language included in the divorce settlement that was meant to limit further litigation on the case in addition to clauses that require whoever contests the settlement to pay the resulting fees.

As this case shows, when a former spouse seeks to overturn the terms of a standing divorce agreement, the other party could seek to uphold the original settlement in court. A family law attorney can help a client prepare a case that seeks to maintain the agreement in court after reviewing the couple's circumstances.

Source: ABC News, "Judge Favors Frank McCourt in Divorce Fees Fight", Anthony McCartney, June 26, 2014

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