Throughout their contested divorce, the former owners of the San Diego Padres have successfully kept their divorce proceedings away from inquisitive eyes and ears. However, that may change. A San Diego Superior Court judge has threatened to reset - and enforce - a divorce trial date after the John and Becky Moores have delayed four such trial dates.

Becky Moores file for divorce in January 2008 after 47 years of marriage. Since the beginning of the divorce process, the couple has made substantial efforts to keep their disagreements out of public court records, hiring a private mediator and working toward a settlement. The couple told a judge that they had reached such a private settlement in March of this year, but have delayed four subsequent trial appointments to finalize it.

Most recently, Judge Lorna Alksne grew tired of the continual delays and set a new court date for later this month. In doing so, she told the couple that if the judgment "is not entered by the next court date, court will be resetting the trial". If this occurs, the divorce proceedings, including the complicated property settlement, would take place in a public courtroom, with all information available to the media.

Those who have followed this high-stakes divorce were not surprised by the judge's admonition. In November 2009, Judge Alksne scolded the couple for their unrelenting quarreling, and threatened to hire an expensive private referee if they could not work out their differences. The case was complex when it began, necessitating the hiring of forensic accountants, and it has grown more so as the couple have fought over access to assets and witnesses.

Because the couple has put such a focus on their privacy, it is likely that they will continue to work hard over the coming weeks to finalize their settlement. If they do not reach that goal, we may be learning a lot more about this high-profile couple as they divide their personal and financial lives in court.

Source: Sign On San Diego, "Moores divorce could be headed back to trial", Brent Schrotenboer, 2 November 2010