Well, if you live near Los Angeles or you follow Major League Baseball you probably know that the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers have decided to litigate their divorce trial. My law office is located in Manhattan Beach, California and I regularly appear in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Central Court located in downtown Los Angeles at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, California 90012. This is the same courthouse where the Dodger owners are having their case heard before Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon. I have appeared before Judge Gordon and must say that he is an excellent Judge and very fair minded.
Mr. McCort and Mrs. McCort both have very well known attorneys to litigate their divorce case and both attorneys had to agree at the outset upon having Judge Scott Gordon preside over their divorce case.
So everyone knows by not that the McCorts are divorcing and that the media is reporting daily about the case. So what is the big deal? Is this just another divorce case like all others which you can go see down at the court on any given day? Aside from the case involving the Los Angeles Dodgers and their owners, there is one very interesting issue. That issue has to do with Postnuptual Agreements.
What is a Postnuptual Agreement? In California, spouses may enter into a written agreement to change the character of property from separate property to community property or from community property to separate property. (See California Family Code Sections 850 and 1500). So what is community property? Community property is generally defined as all property acquired during marriage (assets and debts) with the exceptions of gifts and inheritance. Separate property is generally defined as all property owned before marriage, after separation or property received by gift or inheritance.
Getting back to the McCort’s divorce, it has been reported that the McCorts entered into a Postnuptual Agreement. That is to say that after the McCorts married, the McCorts signed an agreement which purported to change the character of some of their marital property. It is reported that Mr. McCort is alleging that Mrs. McCort signed a Postnuptual Agreement which transferred her community property ownership interest in the Los Angeles Dodgers to Mr. McCort in exchange for receiving Mr. McCort’s ownership interest in other community property (houses). Mrs. McCort’s attorneys are raising many defenses to this argument in an attempt to convince the Court that the Postnuptual Agreement is not enforceable.
Generally, for a Court to find that a Postnuptual Agreement is enforceable the Court must find the the following: The Postnuptual Agreement must be an express declaration that is made, joined in, consented to, or accepted by the spouse whose interest in the property is adversely affected. (See California Family Code Section 852(a).
It was reported today that there were multiple versions of the Postnuptual agreement. If there were multiple versions of the Postnuptual Agreement then that may suffice as evidence that the agreement was not consented to or accepted by Mrs. McCort. It would certainly appear to be an issue which the Court may consider. No one knows how the Court will rule. I guess we will all have to wait until the bottom of the 9th inning when last out is called.
If you have any questions or comment about my California Divorce Blog or wish to discuss your California Divorce please call Attorney Keith F. Simpson at (310) 297-9090. Attorney Keith F. Simpson is a California Family Law Attorney located in Manhattan Beach, California and represents clients in Courts throughout California.