What You Can Learn from High Profile Divorces in CA
It is clear that divorce can be—and usually is—emotionally straining. But a divorce can have an impact beyond your immediate family and can be extremely disruptive to your professional life as well. There are few better examples than the recent high-profile divorce contest between Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie.
Some experts believe this could be among the most expensive divorces in the history of California, costing up to $19 million in fees alone
. But this unbelievable cost does not come solely from the fact that the divorcing couple had substantial assets. Other high profile divorces in California have resolved for a fraction of this cost. Instead, the contentious nature of the divorce and Frank McCourt’s ownership of the Dodgers baseball team created a number of issues and raised substantial questions as to how the team should be valued and how that value should affect property division. Moreover, the Dodgers organization has faced major challenges during the ongoing divorce proceedings.
This case is instructive in two ways. First, in cases where one or both couples own a business during a marriage, failing to plan for the apportionment of that business in case of divorce can have a major adverse impact on the couple and the business itself. Apportioning a business is a complex task that can drive up legal and other related fees and substantially delay completion of a divorce.
Second, a contentious divorce is never good for either party. While the emotional stress of divorce may make it difficult, divorcing couples should make every effort to work together to resolve their issues without litigation. This can decrease the cost, length, and emotional burden of divorce and help maintain discretion concerning private matters of the couple.
Paul A. Pettine
- Published April 16, 2012