On March 29, 2010 TMZ reported that Jamie McCourt, Wife of the Dodgers baseball team, had already spent $800,000 in divorce lawyer fees and needed $9 million for her divorce attorney's fees. In this era of "no-fault" divorce in the State of California, many are astounded by these divorce, legal fee numbers.
The report states that Jamie McCourt is the "fired" CEO of the baseball team. There are many cases in San Diego and La Jolla where Husbands and Wives are co-owners in business entities. When these couples go through a divorce they not only have possible child custody, child support, and spousal support issues but they may also have complex business issues.
Which spouse will take over control of the business? When Jamie McCourt was reportedly fired as the team's CEO was she locked out of the business? Did she lose access to important documents and records as to business activities, sales, operating expenses and other necessary information that will now be needed for the divorce case?
Jamie McCourt is requesting a significant amount of spousal support according to TMZ and other news agencies. This is pursuant to California law that seeks to maintain the Marital Standard of Living for spouses going through a divorce. (The San Diego Superior Court uses a form that helps in the proving of the 4320 factors. Under California law she has a specified burden of proof in order to proceed with the spousal support issue. If she fails in her burden of proof she will only receive a fraction of the spousal support amount that she has requested. It is also possible that her spousal support request would be denied.
If she is locked out of the business and away from the records, her attorneys, in order to satisfy their burden of proof will diligently need to formally request documents and records that are relevant to proving the Husband's business income. The discovery laws of the state of California provide for the issuance of Inspection Demands, Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and subpoenas of business records. Thousand and likely hundreds of thousands of documents will be demanded, logged in, indexed, scrutinized, and analyzed by attorneys and accountants.