McCourt awarded $637,000 a month
Jamie McCourt will get to keep up her lavish lifestyle. It just won't be quite as lavish as she had hoped.
A judge on Friday ordered that McCourt, the estranged wife of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, will get $225,000 a month in temporary spousal support and that her husband will have to pay $412,159 a month for the pair's six homes and a condominium.
She had asked for nearly $1 million in support and mortgage payments.
The ruling was a minor skirmish before what will be the major battle in the couple's bitter divorce — deciding who owns the Dodgers, one of the most valuable franchises in sports.
Jamie McCourt maintains she is the team's co-owner, while Frank McCourt says the agreement between the two gives him sole possession of the team. A trial is set for August to determine who is right.
"The judge has now cleared the way for trial on the most important issue in this divorce, the validity of the marital property agreement,'' said Marc Seltzer, an attorney for Frank McCourt. He said the documents "make clear that Frank is the sole owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.''
Seltzer said his camp accepts the Friday decision, and Jamie McCourt attorney Dennis Wasser said the same.
"It is a 55-page, well-reasoned, fair order,'' Wasser said. "Our client is satisfied.''
Jamie McCourt had been seeking $988,845 a month; her husband had offered her $150,000. Gordon said in his ruling that "neither of the parties' positions is supported by the evidence.''
Attorneys for Jamie McCourt argued their client was entitled to the lifestyle she had during her marriage that included stays at five-star resorts and trips around the world in private jets. They said she has to spend about $568,000 every month on mortgages and related expenses for the seven residences — more than half of what she asked from her husband.
Jamie McCourt estimated she had about $4 million in savings and roughly $450,000 in cash that will quickly run out with the mortgage payments, according to court documents.
Frank McCourt also said he was strapped for cash. His attorney said his client can't tap credit lines to maintain Jamie McCourt's spending habits despite Frank McCourt's $5 million annual salary, most of which will now have to cover the mortgages.
Most of the couple's assets are tied up in real estate, including Dodger Stadium and the land around it. Jamie McCourt has said in court documents that the couple's worth is more than $1.2 billion.
Both sides have disputed how much the Dodgers are actually worth. Frank McCourt said the value of the team is $163 million due to the downturn in the economy, an argument Gordon didn't buy. Jamie McCourt estimates the team is worth more than $830 million.
Gordon said the huge estimate disparity didn't help him in deciding how much spousal support should be doled out to Jamie McCourt. Rather, the money generated from the Dodgers provided "sufficient income'' during the couple's marriage to maintain their lifestyle.
Jamie McCourt was fired in October as the team's CEO where she drew a $2 million salary. She filed for divorce the same month, citing irreconcilable differences. The McCourts have been married since 1979 and have four grown sons.