Colorado baseball fans probably remember outfielder Gabe Kapler, who played for the Rockies in the 2002-03 seasons. Kapler went on to play for several other teams, including the Red Sox, and joined a select group when he was one of the nine Red Sox on the field when the team won its first World Series in 86 years, in 2004. Kapler retired as a player in 2011 and is currently an analyst for a TV sports network. Recently he was in the news again-it is reported that he has filed for divorce from his wife, Lisa Kapler, after 14 years of marriage. The Kaplers have two minor children. He has requested joint custody.
Gabe Kapler filed the divorce papers in Superior Court in Los Angeles County. The papers indicate he is acting as his own attorney in the divorce proceedings, which is surprising for someone who earned millions in his playing days. He apparently filled out the forms himself, and acknowledged to a reporter he made a few mistakes. He checked the box asking to have his maiden name back. He indicated the maiden name is Jansen-which is his wife’s maiden name. He also checked a box indicating he is requesting spousal support (maintenance, as it’s known in Colorado).
Acting as one’s own attorney is rarely a good idea in a divorce case, and in a high asset divorce it is downright dangerous. The clerical errors in the initial papers can be easily fixed with an amended filing. But when it comes to issues like asset division, child custody and spousal maintenance, the party without an attorney is at serious risk of ending up with a less than they are entitled to.
Anyone with significant personal or business assets who is facing divorce should have the assistance of an attorney who understands complex asset division issues. One hopes that Kapler will figure this out before his divorce proceeds much further in court.
Source: Boston Globe, “Gabe, Lisa Kapler to divorce?” Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein, Oct. 7, 2013