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Sterling's estranged wife wants to keep her stake in the Clippers

A divorce nearly always opens the door for two people to have to divide marital assets. For some people, the process is simple. In other situations, like a high-end divorce, an Illinois couple may have difficulty determining who is entitled to what. For a couple that owns properties, businesses and stock, the process can be complicated. One high-profile case illustrates that in addition to the individuals having to work out an agreement, there may be other players involved that will affect the outcome.

Rochelle Sterling said she has been meeting with divorce attorneys for the last two decades, but has yet to follow through due to her financial arrangements. Her estranged husband, Donald Sterling, is the owner of Los Angeles Clippers and has made headlines for racist remarks he allegedly made on a tape that was released to the media. As punishment for the things he said, he has incurred a $2.5 million fine and a lifetime ban from the NBA.

Rochelle Sterling said she would like to be able to keep her stake in the NBA team, though the current sanctions against her husband may affect that. Her attorney has stated that the NBA’s penalty should not extend to her ownership, though the organization’s constitution specifically states that if the controlling owner’s stake is terminated, then all owners lose their interests.

It is possible that the Sterlings will end up selling the team. Among those proceeds and a number of other assets, the couple will have to decide how to divide their property. Anyone going through a divorce that entails complex property division should consult with an attorney.

Source: ABC News, “ABC News Exclusive: Shelly Sterling: ‘Eventually, I’m Going to’ File for Divorce,” Michael Rothman, May 11, 2014

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