Marital Property Agreement Determined Invalid in McCourt Case


Marital Property Agreement Determined Invalid in McCourt Case

Judge Scott Gordon of the Los Angeles Superior court ruled that the prenuptial agreement at the heart of the McCourt divorce was invalid. For those who haven’t heard the McCourt’s own the Dodgers and are now in a battle over ownership of the team. Jamie McCourt signed a prenuptial agreement which Frank McCourt argues provided him with the team as his sole and separate property. Sole and Separate property means that the Dodgers belong to him and Jamie McCourt has no claim to any part of it.

The lawyer that drafted the property agreement alleges that he made an inadvertent mistake by including the Dodgers team into the couples community property assets. Community Property is property that belongs to both husband and wife. Upon divorce community property is divided 50/50. The lawyer claims that, by mistake, he failed to list the Dodgers into the separate property category and by mistake listed it into the community property assets. He then alleges that he caught this mistake after the agreement was signed and entered into causing him to prepare an amendment and incorporate it into the final agreement. The problem with this is that the McCourts signed off on a copy that had the Dodgers listed as community property. Any subsequent modification that was not signed by them is invalid. He also alleges that since it was the parties intention to exclude the Dodgers from the community property assets that he had the implied consent of the parties to include the amendment.

As a lawyer I do understand that mistakes could occur especially with the high volume of documents that we constantly prepare but what I do not understand is how a mistake of this magnitude could occur. One would have to go through a documents of this significance at least a dozen times to make sure that there are no mistakes. That could be a reason why Judge Gordon ruled the agreement invalid. As of now, the Dodgers are community property and could be forced into sale in order to split the assets. In my opinion, the parties will attend mediation, Jamie will be bought out of the team.

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