Frank and Jamie McCourt took what both characterized as a major step in the right direction Friday when they reached an agreement regarding their divorce settlement.
The settlement announced Friday in court involves having a one-day trial to determine if the title for the Dodgers goes to Frank McCourt or whether the team should be deemed community property.
The trial was set for Aug. 4.
"I'm very please that we put this matter behind us, and now we can focus on baseball," Frank McCourt said after the ruling. "Under one scenario, if it's community property, we're just going to split the assets. Under another scenario, if I prevail with the title at trial, which I believe I will, the Dodgers are my separate property and Jamie gets the homes, which are in her name, and a sum of money."
Word of the agreement came just before the start a a divorce settlment hearing Friday morning. The judge planned to call an impasse Thursday, but decided to give the couple another 24 hours.
"The most important thing for me is to just have resolution," Jamie McCourt said after the ruling. "It's the most important thing for my family, my children, the fans, certainly baseball.
"I've been trying to resolve it for the past two years. This is a great step toward that resolution."
If Frank McCourt wins the ownership battle, he has agreed to pay his former spouse $100 million. She also will own all of their residential properties except for one.
"Jamie will use her best efforts to remove Frank from the mortgages on these properties,'' the four-page agreement states.
The agreement also anticipates Major League Baseball's approval of a television contract between the Dodgers and Fox, Frank McCourt said outside court. That deal has been reported to be worth $3 billion and Frank McCourt would receive $385 million upfront.
Jamie McCourt's attorney was asked what happens if the deal is not approved.
"You're going to need to hear from 10 lawyers on a legal answer to that," attorney Dennis Wasser said. "I don't think anybody is sure."
Wasser said there MLB's position on the deal might be known by early next week. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney declined comment.
In December, Gordon earlier threw out a marital property agreement. The agreement gave Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers, but Gordon's ruling allowed Jamie McCourt to contest ownership under California property law.
Jamie McCourt went further, asking Gordon to force the sale of the team. A hearing is set for Wednesday on that request.
Whether Frank or Jamie McCourt owns the team might not matter as the league continues to monitor the team's finances. In April, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that the league would assume control of the Dodgers. He appointed former Texas Rangers President Tom Schieffer as a trustee.
Schieffer has authority over any team transaction of at least $5,000.