The word is out that Frank and Jamie McCourt are officially divorced, even though their divorce proceedings could last several more years. This is because part of the divorce settlement includes sorting out the ownership and control of the L.A. Dodgers.
Recently Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon granted a request to change the McCourts' marital status from separated to divorced, according to court documents. The status change has no impact on the proceedings. Any assets determined to be community property would be considered as shared assets through the date of their separation which is July 7, 2009, rather than the date of their divorce.
A status change is not uncommon, even as parties work their way through lengthy divorce proceedings. An official divorce decree would allow a party to get remarried or to file in a lower tax bracket. The McCourts married in 1979. They filed for divorce 13 months ago.
The McCourts have until the end of this month to accept or reject a mediator's proposed settlement. If the proposal is rejected, which is expected, then Judge Gordon has until Dec. 28 to rule on the validity of a marital agreement that would give Frank sole control of the Dodgers. Jamie has asked Gordon to throw out that agreement, which could make the team community property.
Either side could appeal Gordon's ruling, and Frank has promised to try another legal strategy to secure sole ownership if Gordon rules in favor of Jamie. So it looks like the McCourts will continue to battle it out and their change of status from separated to divorced has little impact on the larger fight between the McCourts over the Dodgers ownership.