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Frank McCourt wins divorce legal fee battle

Virginia baseball fans may have followed the divorce of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie, to whom he had been married for more than 30 years. The couple entered into a divorce settlement agreement in 2012 that gave her $131 million as well as a few luxury homes that had been purchased by the couple during their marriage. The settlement agreement contained a clause that provided that a party who contested the agreement would have to pay the other party's legal fees.

A judge recently ruled in favor of Frank McCourt, whose attorneys asked that his ex-wife reimburse him for the $1.9 million in fees he incurred fighting her in court when she unsuccessfully contested their divorce settlement. She had contended that McCourt had undervalued the team's worth when they were negotiating the settlement. The team was sold in 2012 for in excess of $2 billion.

The ruling on legal fees was issued on June 24. Unless Jamie McCourt's attorneys appeal within 15 days of the ruling, the judge's decision will become final. In his decision, the judge stated that the settlement agreement was extremely thorough and that Jamie McCourt had had ample input in its creation. Each party was represented by separately-retained divorce attorneys throughout the entire process.

There are many steps to a divorce that must be taken before people can get a fresh start. Individuals with a high net worth might face additional steps due to their many assets. A family law attorney can assist a client during the process by answering property division questions and helping to negotiate and draft a comprehensive settlement.

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

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