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Early last week, the feuding co-owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers came to an agreement regarding the division of their assets, including the iconic baseball team. Under the proposed agreement, Frank McCourt would receive an advance of several hundred million dollars to pay off current debts and a sizeable lump-sum payment to his soon-to-be ex-wife, Jamie McCourt.
Unfortunately for the McCourts, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Bud Selig, did not approve of the new television deal from Fox Sports that would have financed the entire agreement. Citing the broad power of the Commissioner’s Office, Selig stated, “[The proposed TV deal was] structured to facilitate the further diversion of Dodgers assets for the personal needs of Mr. McCourt…[such a diversion] would have the effect of mortgaging the future of the franchise to the long-term detriment of the club and its fans.”
This week, as a last-ditch effort to maintain control of the team, Frank McCourt filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the ballclub.
This case is just the latest example of what can happen to a professional sports franchise when ownership of the franchise is shared between a husband and wife. The biggest issues in this case are the division of marital property for an equitable division of the assets. For most couples facing this situation, the biggest obstacle to a successful division of assets is figuring out how and what to divide – Does one party want to sell the marital residence? What if there are minor children involved? Do you want to keep the kids in a home they are familiar with?
Several of the issues that have arisen in this case are prevalent in the majority of California divorce matters, albeit on a larger scale than most cases. If you are thinking about divorce or have recently been served with a Petition for Dissolution, call the Orange County family law firm of Don Ho, LLP to receive a referral for an experienced family law attorney.
Don Ho Law
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