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Couple back in court over settlement after divorce process ends

Sports fans in Colorado may have followed the drawn-out and highly contentious divorce between Dodgers baseball team owners Frank and Jamie McCourt. Their marriage ended in 2010, when Jamie McCourt agreed to a divorce settlement that paid her $131 million for her community property claim with respect to ownership of the team. However, it appears that the couple is headed back to court nearly a year following the end of their divorce process.

That might have been the end of the legal wrangling between the two, but when Frank McCourt sold the Dodgers this year for approximately $2 billion, the settlement likely began to look a bit unbalanced. An attorney for Jamie McCourt points out that the agreement between the two effectively granted Mr. McCourt 93 percent of the family's assets, while Ms. McCourt received only 7 percent. Jamie McCourt has filed a motion to have the court set aside her divorce settlement, claiming that her ex-husband committed an act of fraud when he undervalued the Dodgers.

It is reported that Ms. McCourt suggested a modification to the divorce settlement, but that request was apparently denied by her ex-husband. As a result, she filed the recent motion with the court, and will likely ask the judge to revisit the terms of her divorce settlement. Her attorney asserts that even if the undervaluation of the team was an error and not the result of fraud, the court can still throw the settlement out and begin anew.

As this case makes its way through the legal process, viewers in Colorado and across the nation will likely learn more about the sale of the Dodgers as well as the agreement between these high-profile spouses. Most Colorado couples will complete the divorce process with far fewer shared assets than the McCourts. However, this case serves as a reminder that even after a divorce settlement is reached, it is possible to ask a court to reevaluate the agreement if there is evidence of fraud or significant errors. Doing so requires that the petitioning spouse be able to present not only a body of evidence to support a change, but also a solid legal argument as to why the original settlement should be set aside.

Source: seattlepi.com, "Ex-Dodger owner back in divorce court," Sept. 26, 2012

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