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Hearing scheduled for former team owner's high asset divorce

High asset divorces can involve some staggering figures, but for the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, these numbers can run into the billions. His ex-wife filed a motion Sept. 24 in a Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming her husband undervalued his extensive assets.

In any high asset divorce, the exact value of income and assets is crucial in court determinations of payments and settlements. The former owner of the Dodgers sold the storied baseball team earlier this year for $2 billion; no American professional sports franchise has ever sold for higher.

During the couple's divorce, though, the businessman valued his assets as under $300 million. At the end of their protracted proceedings, a judge awarded his ex-wife $131 million.

When certain debts were sold and subtracted, however, the assets could actually be valued at $1.7 billion, significantly higher than first asserted during the couple's divorce.

Whether the discrepancy was caused by deliberate misrepresentation or errors in calculation, notes the ex-wife's attorney, the initial settlement should be considered invalid in light of new revelations.

The original divorce settlement saw the man receiving over 90 percent of the family assets, with the woman's attorney calling it a "massive imbalance."

Significantly, both the former team owner and his ex-wife were well-known for a lavish lifestyle when they were married. Documents used in the divorce trial detailed chartered jets, multiple residences, and other luxurious indulgences.

In Texas, high asset divorces can sometimes result in disproportionate divisions of assets, because judges are not required to split property down the middle. Judges must divide property in a fair manner, but the law allows for judges to have some personal discretion in the matter.

Source: KRIS-TV, "Ex-Dodger owner back in divorce court," Sept. 26, 2012

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

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