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LA Dodgers' ownership undecided as McCourt divorce finalized

By Nichola Groom

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt's divorce was finalized last month, according to court documents made public on Tuesday, but the question of whether his ex-wife, Jamie, has a stake in the baseball team remains undecided.

A stipulated judgment in the McCourts' divorce case was entered on October 26, according to Dennis Wasser, the attorney for Jamie McCourt, but that decree has only just been added to the computerized court docket.

The divorce decree did not address ownership of the Dodgers, a key point of contention for the couple in the nasty public dispute.

The Dodgers are considered one of the premier clubs in Major League Baseball and were valued by Forbes magazine in 2009 at $722 million.

Last week, Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman, the mediator assigned to the McCourts' property dispute, met in separate closed sessions with each of the McCourts and their attorneys. He presented them with a proposed settlement and gave them until the end of the month to accept or reject it.

If the proposal is rejected, as is widely expected, then Superior Court judge Scott Gordon would rule on the validity of several versions of the couple's post-nuptial agreement, which Frank McCourt asserts gives him sole ownership of the Dodgers.

Jamie McCourt has maintained the team was meant to be community property of the couple. Wasser said a ruling was expected some time in December.

The McCourts, who were married for over 30 years and have four grown sons, bought the team in 2004.

The couple announced their separation in October 2009 as the Dodgers faced the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League championship playoff. Frank McCourt fired his spouse as the club's chief executive the day after the Phillies cut short the Dodgers' World Series bid, and she filed for divorce five days later.

In May, Frank McCourt was ordered to pay $225,000 a month in temporary spousal support, plus $412,159 monthly to pay the mortgages on the couples' real estate properties. (Editing by Steve Gorman and Greg McCune)