Julianna and Ben Zobrist divorce: Ex-Chicago Cubs star wants 60% of assets
On August 9, proceedings will begin in the highly publicized divorce trial between baseball star Ben Zobrist and his wife Julianne. For months, the duo's fallout has captured national attention, with shocking details being revealed thanks to public court documents.
Over the last few months, we have learned a considerable amount about the shocking story of Ben and Julianne. On July 20, MEAWW reported on the claim that Ben was "suicidal" and had "mental health issues". In June, Ben's fans slammed Julianne after details of her affair with pastor Byron Yawn emerged. In July, Julianna also deleted all photos of her children and Ben from Instagram, indicating just how messy things are.
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A lot is going on with the trial, which is why we have prepared this handy article for you. Here you'll find everything you need to know about their divorce trial, and what they are asking for.
Why are the Zobrist's getting divorced?
The duo filed for divorce after Ben found that Julianna was cheating on him with Yawn, who was also Ben's business partner. He found out in 2019, leading to him taking a lengthy leave of absence from the Cubs to resolve the issues. Reportedly, Julianna and Yawn started talking in 2018, before having a sexual relationship in 2019.
The affair was discovered by Yawn's wife Robin, who discovered the pre-paid phones Julianna and Yawn were using to stay in touch. That led to Ben filing for divorce in May 2019 in Tennessee, alleging Julianna was "guilty of inappropriate marital conduct". Days later, Julianna filed for divorce in Illinois. Separately, Ben sued Yawn for $6 million alleging “intentional inflection of emotional distress” and defrauding his charity.
What is Ben asking for?
In his divorce papers, Ben accused Julianna of incurring at least $700,000 in "excessive and wasteful spending". In 2018, he said Julianna spent an average of $24,000 per month, primarily on travel, clothing, and gifts. According to court documents, Julianna confessed the affair to Ben but hid the "true extent" from him. Furthermore, Ben also accused his estranged wife of orchestrating a "scheme" to persuade him to return to professional baseball, that increasing his earnings.
As a result of these claims, Ben is asking to hold on to at least 60% of the couple's assets. He also wants a 50-50 plan when it comes to the custody of the couple's three children. He has also asked for a "stay away" order against Yawn until their youngest is at least 14.
What is Julianne asking for?
In her filings, Julianna accused Ben of "inappropriate marital conduct", and claimed he struggled with mental health issues including thoughts of suicide. She claims she helped "manage husband’s behavior" so it wouldn’t adversely affect his baseball career. She also accused Ben of "intentionally and voluntarily stopped working" and that he went from "the top of his game" to "giving up". She alleged that Ben's break affected the household income, and wants to be compensated for it.
Julianna wants an even split of all assets and primary custody of the children, with child support. She also wants an additional $4 million, which Ben earned after returning to the Cubs for two months in 2019. The return netted Ben $4.5m of his $12.5 million salary. In April, she was awarded $1.72m from the sale of the couple's house in Chicago, as well as an additional $772,500 to "purchase a new home as her separate property."
When is the trial?
The seven-day bench trial will begin on August 9 in Franklin, a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee. It will go on till about August 13, and possibly extend on August 16 and 17 if needed. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 30 and will be overseen by Judge Mike Binkley. During the trial, Ben's team have asked Yawn, his ex-wife Robin, his agent Scott Pucino, his trainer Josh Costello, and Erin Dillard (wife of Tim Dillard, former Milwaukee Brewers reliever) to testify.
It's not clear who Julianna has asked to testify. We know that both their social media posts, communications, and their books will all be included as exhibits. It is possible Yawn too may be asked to testify, given he was subpoenaed to hand over all gifts, notes, emails, and other messages he exchanged with Julianna.