California Divorce Determines Property Ownership

In a Los Angeles Times article, written by journalist Bill Shaikin on 12/7/2010, we learn that a California divorce court invalidated a post marital agreement whereby Frank McCourt claimed that his wife, Jamie McCourt, agreed that the Los Angeles Dodger baseball team was Frank's separate property. As a result of this decision, the Dodgers are the community property of both Frank and Jamie and must be equally divided as a result of the pending McCourt divorce. This is a significant blow to Frank and likely means that the team must be sold. As a San Diego Certified Family Law Specialist attorney I have closely followed this case. This blog posted articles on this case in August and September 2010. We predicted the outcome that was reached by the court just in the last several days. After the first day of trial on the post marital contract issue, this blog directed a comment at Frank telling him that he had swung at the ball and missed and that "I just don't know if that was strike one, two or three." We stated that the trial was not going well for Frank after one day in court. Later, the attorney who drafted the post marital contract appeared in this trial to testify as a witness. This blog posted an article regarding his testimony. The article stated that my professional opinion regarding the contract issue was now even stronger in favor of Jamie McCourt's position–that the contract was invalid therefore the team was the community property of the McCourt's. Typically, a post marital agreement seeks to change the characterization of property from community property to separate property (or visa versa).

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