In divorce documents, Ben Zobrist says Julianna 'coaxed' him into returning to the Chicago Cubs, while she requests $4M of the $8M he forfeited while on leave

Phil Thompson, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

— Ben Zobrist accuses Julianna of orchestrating a “scheme” to persuade Ben to put their divorce proceedings on hold and return to baseball so his earnings would continue to fill the marital coffers.

— Julianna Zobrist has countersued Ben for inappropriate marital conduct, though it’s not spelled out in the documents available to the Tribune and Ben has denied the allegation.

— Julianna Zobrist alleges that Ben struggles with “mental health issues” that include manic tendencies, depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide and that she helped “manage husband’s behavior” so it wouldn’t adversely affect his baseball career.

— Julianna Zobrist said she continued to “emotionally support” Ben and his “often-rigorous baseball schedule, many of the games lasting late at night, with all three children in tow.”

— Julianna Zobrist seeks primary custody of the children and child support, while Ben advocates for a 50-50 parental plan. “Husband has no real desire to coparent due to his anger towards her,” Julianna says in her filing.

— Ben Zobrist asserts that he propped up Julianna’s ventures as a Christian pop singer, author and speaker, with Julianna Zobrist LLC posting a 2019 net loss of more than $212,000 because of clothing (more than $188,000), travel and other business expenses.


— Julianna Zobrist was awarded $1.72 million in proceeds from the April sale of the couple’s North Hamilton Avenue home in Chicago as well as an additional $772,500, to “purchase a new home as her separate property.”

— Ben Zobrist accuses Julianna and Yawn of “spoliating” — destroying or altering — evidence.

— All of the Zobrists’ and Yawn’s social media posts and communications may be included among the exhibits, and so will their books, including “Double Play,” cowritten by Ben and Julianna, “Pull It Off,” written by Julianna; and Yawn’s “What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him” and “Things That Go Bump in the Church.”

— Ben Zobrist requests a “stay away” order (under Tennessee’s “paramour provision”) prohibiting Yawn from coming in contact or communicating with the children until the youngest is 14: “Wife has made it clear that she intends to continue her involvement with Pastor Yawn in the future, and that the children will eventually know of their mother’s involvement with their former pastor.”


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