Ex-Oriole Jim Palmer is granted a divorce; 10-year marriage ends, but legal disputes remain


Hall of Famer Jim Palmer was granted a divorce yesterday in Baltimore County Circuit Court, ending his 10-year marriage but not the legal disputes with his ex-wife.

Palmer, who filed for divorce in 1998, sat stone-faced as Joan H. Palmer's lawyer read a settlement agreement in court that allows him to keep his three World Championship rings from his career with the Orioles, three Cy Young Awards and his mother's desk.

Joan Palmer will be allowed to keep her jewelry collection, china set, cameras and camera equipment and an Andy Warhol silk-screen, "Lifesavers."

Under terms of the agreement, the couple's condominium in Juno Beach, Fla., and their house in the Brooklandville section of Baltimore County will be put up for sale.

If Joan Palmer accepts an offer on the Florida condominium, her ex-husband will have the right to match the offer and purchase the condominium by paying his ex-wife half of the selling price.

She retains the same right if her ex-husband accepts an offer on the Brooklandville house.

The settlement also says that Jim Palmer must make mortgage payments on both properties until July 31. It also recognizes the validity of a prenuptial agreement that was signed by the couple April 5, 1990, two days before their marriage.

The settlement was reached yesterday afternoon after more than four hours of closed-door negotiations in Judge James T. Smith Jr.'s chambers.

Smith, who granted the divorce after brief testimony by the Palmers, had scheduled a two-day trial to begin yesterday morning.

The agreement specifies that it will not affect suits filed by the Palmers against each other.

Jim Palmer has filed a suit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore alleging that his ex-wife mismanaged his pension fund.

She sued him in Baltimore County Circuit Court alleging that he refused to pay her commissions she had earned as his business manager.

Both declined to comment after the hearing.

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