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Frank and Jamie McCourt officially divorced -- but court case goes on

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Frank and Jamie McCourt are officially divorced, even though their divorce proceedings could last several more years.

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 the separation -- July 7, 2009 -- rather than the date of the divorce.

Lynn Soodik, a family law attorney in Santa Monica, said a status change is not uncommon, even as parties work their way through lengthy divorce proceedings. Soodik, speaking generally, said an official divorce decree would allow a party to get remarried or to file in a lower tax bracket.

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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, as expected, then 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 for Jamie.

-- Bill Shaikin


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