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McCourt Divorce: Spousal Support For Jamie May Be Reduced

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MCCOURT SPOUSAL SUPPORT
AP Photo/Nick Ut

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will keep paying $225,000 per month to his ex-wife, but money once used toward the mortgages of six luxurious homes will come from a $1.1 million escrow account, attorneys said Wednesday.

Attorneys for the former couple hammered out a deal that called for McCourt to pay temporary spousal support to Jamie McCourt over the next couple of months. He was paying an additional $412,159 a month for the mortgages of six homes and a condominium, but that money will now come from an account created after the sale of a home near the Playboy Mansion.

The McCourts have been embroiled in a costly and nasty divorce battle where the main prize has been the Dodgers. What will happen to the team has been put on hold until a bankruptcy court in Delaware sorts out the mess.

"More clearly, until the case is out of bankruptcy, the Dodgers can't be sold," said Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, who presided over an 11-day trial regarding the validity of the McCourts' postnuptial marital agreement.

McCourt had sought a reduction in spousal support, arguing he had paid his ex-wife roughly $7.7 million over the past year. He believed the payments should be more in line with the $5 million he receives annually.

Jamie McCourt noted in a recent filing that her ex-husband has received more than $44 million into his bank accounts since June 2010 and should be able to pay her attorneys' fees.

Lawyers on both sides said outside of court that more of the McCourt homes would likely be sold. Among them are a pair of beachfront homes in Malibu and another in tony Holmby Hills.

The Dodgers recently filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming a cash-flow crisis on Major League Baseball's refusal to approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal McCourt was counting on to keep the franchise afloat.

MLB had assumed control of the club's day-to-day operations in mid-April before the team filed for bankruptcy.

Gordon ruled in December that the marital agreement that gave McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers was invalid, clearing the way for Jamie McCourt, who served as the team's CEO but was fired by her ex-husband two years ago, to seek half the team under California's community property law.

A group backed by Chinese government-owned investment banks has made a $1.2 billion offer to buy the Dodgers, but McCourt has repeatedly said he's not interested in selling the team.

The McCourts were scheduled to return to court in November to address topics including a "characterization" trial to determine if title to the Dodgers is in Frank McCourt's name or if the team should be considered community property.

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