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High-asset divorce and hiding assets: ex-wife seeks to reopen case

The Cubs and the White Sox have had various owners over the years. Prominent families have been included. The Wrigley family, of course, lent its name to what is still called Wrigley Field.

But Chicago baseball teams have never known anything like the divorce saga involving Frank McCourt, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The case has instructive points for high-assert divorce cases in Illinois and across the country. It suggests, above all, that parties should be clear about the extent of the available assets before agreeing to a divorce settlement.

When McCourt and his wife went through their divorce, ownership of the Dodgers was one of the biggest marital assets to be divided. The team was sold for a whopping $2.1 billion about a year ago.

Now Jamie McCourt is suing because she claims Frank misled her about the extent of his assets - especially the Dodgers. In the McCourt's divorce settlement, two months after the Dodgers' sale, Jamie received $131 million. Now she says that she should get $770 million more due to her ex-husband's alleged fraud.

Jamie McCourt contends that before the divorce settlement became final Frank McCourt made a declaration under oath that the couple's assets were did not exceed $300 million. Jamie is seeking to reopen the divorce case, which is also in part a bankruptcy case. Before they were sold for such an eye-catching sum, the Dodgers went through bankruptcy proceedings.

It is a well known fact that couples sometimes try to hide assets from each other. That is why a husband or wife going through a divorce may need to enlist a forensic accountant to determine whether there are hidden assets and where they might be.

In this case, however, the Dodgers were hardly hidden. They were the elephant in the room of a messy divorce.

Source: "Frank, Jamie McCourt Headed Back To Court Over Bigger Divorce Settlement," CBS Los Angeles, 4-17-13

Please visit our page on high-asset divorce.

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