By Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Equitable Distribution on Thursday, November 3, 2016.of
It happens only once every 108 years, or so it seems. But, tickets to see the Chicago Cubs in the World Series can be a valuable property to divide in divorce. At least in Illinois it is, as one couple found out.
According to ESPN, court documents filed in a Cook County Circuit Court on Friday say a woman this week submitted an “Emergency Petition For World Series Tickets” to see Game 4 on Saturday against the Cleveland Indians.
Judge Marya Nega ruled after arguments that the husband can keep the tickets for himself and the couple’s 12-year-old son, but should pay for a new ticket for Nancy Riddle in a “comparable” section to his.
The Cubs haven’t won a World Series title since 1908, and long-suffering fans are paying a minimum of thousands of dollars per ticket at Wrigley Field.
The cheapest available tickets start at around $3,000. Even standing-room tickets on sites such as StubHub started at around $2,500, with some sellers asking for more than $100,000 for prime box seats.
I’ve written about equitable distribution before. Generally, courts have to distribute marital assets, and begin with the premise that a distribution should be equal, unless there is a justification for an unequal distribution. Courts can also, if good cause exists, order an interim partial distribution.
The husband’s lawyer, Michael Berger, described the legal tussle, saying his client landed the World Series tickets because he bought a season-ticket package deal with his friends this year before divorce proceedings began in April.
Berger said he objected to the issue being an emergency because the Cubs might not make it back to another World Series in the wife’s lifetime.
Berger is a fan of the Cubs’ crosstown rivals, the White Sox, and said he reluctantly acknowledged to the court during arguments before the judge that the Cubs “are a great team.
“Even if the Cubs lose this time, it is likely — regrettably — that they will be back to the World Series again soon,” he said in a Thursday phone interview.
One team, the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, has a clause in place to handle similar situations:
“Upon divorce or separation, we will honor a stipulation authorizing retention or transfer of tickets to one or both of the parties. Without stipulation or agreement, the tickets shall revert to the Green Bay Packers who shall have the right to divide them tickets between the parties.”
The ESPN article is available here.