DIVORCE THRIVES IN IMPROVING ECONOMY AND HOUSING MARKET

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Just when you thought you might not be able to afford to get a divorce, this just in: improving economy and housing market make getting a divorce affordable, again.  Oh, joy.  It’s time to break up the family, because, well, we can afford to.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the improving economy and booming housing market have prompted more people to get divorced.  Yay for them.  Money, or a lack thereof, no longer needs to lead to unhappiness.  Instead, couples may now divorce a little easier than before.

According to the article, the recession had caused many couples to stay together because their homes were a financial mess or one or both parties were out of work.  When the recession had hit, home prices plummeted, home equity became scarce, and couples had fewer assets to play with.  Divorcing couples faced greater financial loses.  But now, the housing market is in a rebound, and interest rates are at historical lows.  Couples are experiencing new wealth they can now use to divorce from each other.

Rising inflation and falling housing prices put pressure on marriages and help to contribute to higher divorce rates.  The same factors also apply to making divorce more complicated.  Falling property prices mean that selling the family home may not provide sufficient funds for two separate homes, especially with lenders being so much more selective in who they lend to.

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GUGGENHEIM’S DODGERS ORDERED TO REVEAL SECRET $ ARRANGEMENT IN JAMIE’S DIVORCE WITH FRANK

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Former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Jamie McCourt wants California’s family law courts to throw out her $131-million divorce settlement.  That’s why, according to the Los Angeles Times, the new owners of the Dodgers must reveal their financial arrangements with Jamie’s ex-husband/partner, Frank McCourt.  Got that?  We’re pretty sure Frank does too.

According to the Times article earlier this month, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon denied the Dodgers request to seal a summary of the team’s deal with Frank McCourt.  The judge ordered the document to be made publicly available June 17, unless Guggenheim Baseball Management succeeds in an appeal before then.

Jamie McCourt’s attorney, Bert Fields, believes the financial summary could reveal that the deal was worth more than the Dodgers publicly announced sales price of $2.15 billion.  “It shows Mr. McCourt got value way beyond $2 billion.”  And that somebody totally got ripped off in their settlement negotiations.

In her request to have Judge Gordon throw out her divorce settlement, Jamie alleged that Frank fraudulently misled her about the value of the Dodgers and their assets.  Frank denies this charge.  And he also denies extraterrestrials run the White House.

Last year, Guggenheim paid $2 billion for the Dodgers, while an affiliated entity financed the purchase of the land surrounding Dodger Stadium for $150 million.  The accompanying financial arrangements Guggenheim attempted to seal include data about how Frank and Guggenheim were to share profits from the joint investment venture, which is the crux of this whole magilla.

In court, Guggenheim argued that financial disclosure would harm the Dodgers ability to lure another sports team to the Dodger Stadium site.  (Guggenheim’s ownership has since admitted that it is indeed in talks with the NFL about building a stadium on the stated site.)

Although Staples Center owner AEG still has plans to bring the NFL to South Park, the NFL has made it abundantly clear it has its tiny, greedy, little heart set on Chavez Ravine.  As a side note, the NFL made no mention of all the profits to be made – by everyone, except I guess poor, hungry Jamie – from the Chavez Ravine site.

EX CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER AND MARIA SHRIVER HOLD OFF ON DIVORCE

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Yes she did, no he didn’t.  It’s on again, and it’s off again.  And then it’s back on again.  And it really is hard to tell which way the former ‘gropenator’ and his distinguished wife are headed these days.

It was all the way back in 2011 when Maria Shriver fired the first shot by filing for divorce from the then California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  This, as we might remember, was due to the fact Arnie had fathered a son out of wedlock with one of his servants, and, then, of course, there were those other not-discussed-too-much indiscretions with those other women.

So, as the media has dutifully reported, the couple finalized all the terms to their highly anticipated divorce when…  What?    Nothing.  As a snag seemed to grip both parties who appear to be in no hurry to finalize the dirty deed.

Friends of Maria and Arnie have suggested the divorce has been put on hold simply because it has no immediate impact on either of their lives.  And they probably don’t believe the sun really has any impact on life on planet Earth either, but the couple continue to play out their typically egoic, change of heart, he love me, she love me not this week syndrome.

But who knows, right?  After all, this is California.  And reconciliation may yet again rear its ugly head and stand in the future for this duo.  And wasn’t it only last month that national media reportedly caught the pair kissing in Beverly Hills.  A possible preview to a settlement of differences on behalf of graduating daughter Christina.

7 DAY REQUIREMENT OF FAMILY CODE §1615(c)(2) NOT APPLICABLE TO PARTY REPRESENTED FROM OUTSET

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An important case came down last year that helped to further define California family law regarding premarital agreements.  In the case of Marriage of Cadwell-Faso & Faso (2011) 191 CA4th 945, 119 CR3d 813, the California Courts of Appeal determined the requirement of Family Code §1615(c)(2) that a party against whom enforcement of a premarital agreement is sought have at least 7 calendar days “between the time that the party was first presented with the agreement and advised to seek independent legal counsel and the time the agreement was signed” does not apply when that party was represented by counsel from the outset of the transaction.

The facts of Cadwell-Faso were as follows:  Before their marriage, a couple entered into a premarital agreement.  Husband’s attorney prepared the initial draft of the agreement, presented it to the prospective wife and advised her to seek independent counsel.

Prospective wife hired an attorney, who, over the course of several months, prepared five draft addenda.  The 5th addendum was faxed to prospective husband, who transmitted it to his attorney 3 days later.  Three days after that the parties met with his attorney and signed the agreement, after final working changes were made.  They married two days later, separated four months after that.

In later marital dissolution proceedings, Husband moved to set aside the premarital agreement, which imposed both spousal support and property obligations.  He claimed that he signed the agreement without the benefit of the statutory time period of Family Code §1615(c)(2), which requires “seven calendar days between the time that [the] party was first presented with the agreement and advised to seek independent legal counsel and the time the agreement was signed.”