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Hidden assets mean return to court for the McCourts

If the name Frank and Jamie McCourt don't sound familiar to the people of Georgia, their baseball team certainly does: the Dodgers. The former owner of the Dodgers is heading back to court after his wife has accused him of hiding assets in the January 2012 divorce. She agreed to take only $131 million in a divorce settlement because she only believed her ex-husband's assets totaled $300 million, according to her post-divorce lawsuit. Since his sale of the Dodgers for $2.1 billion in March 2012, Jamie has learned that he had far greater assets than she originally knew about.

Divorces of this magnitude are certainly uncommon in Georgia, but that doesn't mean that the underlying concept is foreign. There are many people in Georgia whose spouses lie about, hide or otherwise undervalue their assets in an effort to pay less in a divorce settlement. Like Jamie, individuals whose former spouses are dishonest about their financial situations can be brought back to court to adjust a settlement.

For many people in Georgia, $131 million would likely be enough, but under Georgia law, property must be equitably divided. What this means is that judges will typically divide property in a way that doesn't put one spouse too far back financially. If there is a large gap in income or income potential, the court may order the higher-paid spouse to contribute more of his or her earnings to his or her former spouse so as to not cause too much of a financial disruption in the other person's life.

For Jamie McCourt, it would only be fair for her to receive closer to half of the couple's marital assets, which is likely why she has filed for a modification of the divorce settlement.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "Frank, Jamie McCourt Headed Back To Court Over Bigger Divorce Settlement," April 17, 2013

Learn more about how property is divided in Georgia by visiting our website.

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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