Fame Is A Harsh Mistress

Written By: Ron Funk

It has recently been reported that UCLA head football coach Jim Mora Jr. missed a UCLA football camp due to his separation from his wife of 35 years. You see this quite often, where people in high visibility, high commitment, or high-pressure careers just can’t seem to make their marriages work. It’s a testament to how difficult marriage is, and how people so often have to choose what they are going to give their attention.

I recall an article about the former Miami Hurricane, Dallas Cowboy and Miami Dolphin head coach Jimmie Johnson, who apparently made the decision to divorce his wife in order to focus on football. I suppose that’s one way to ensure you don’t spread your attention too thin.

This is going to be an extremely expensive decision for Coach Mora. His current contract pays him about $3.5 million per year through 2019. You can bet his wife is going to get a big chunk of that (as well as any assets they’ve accumulated throughout their 35 years as a married couple).

What about the property they may have acquired in other states where he’s coached, which may not be community property states? They’ll be divorcing in California, a community property state, and California law provides that even real property located in other, non-community property states, will be treated as community property – “quasi-community property.”

Coach Mora is certainly not going to be destitute after his divorce is over, but his estate is going to be substantially lighter. Not only giving up half of all of his real and personal property to his wife, but a thirty-five-year marriage is a long-term marriage in California, which means he is going to be paying his wife a huge chunk of spousal support for a very long time.

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