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Court rules in favor of Deion Sanders in divorce issues

In the last post, we discussed the issue of a lack of a prenuptial agreement in a celebrity divorce. When Deion Sanders and Pilar Biggers married, the two entered into a prenuptial agreement that was contested in their divorce.

The premarital agreement reportedly addresses how property should be divided if the couple later divorced, as well as spelled out an agreement that Pilar Sanders would receive $100,000 for each year of the marriage, capped at $1 million. When Deion Sanders filed for divorce in 2011, Pilar challenged the validity of the prenup. The divorce court appointed a retired judge as an arbitrator to resolve that dispute. That ruling, and a child custody dispute which each decided in rulings this week.

Generally, a divorce proceeding may be resolved through negotiation without a major legal battle in court. However, in some cases, a divorcing couple may have one or more issues that lead to contested litigation. In the Sanders divorce, issues took relatively different courses (one entered arbitration, while the other entered litigation in court). While the issues were handled under the law of Texas, California readers may know that the core issues are generally similar to issues that could arise in any state.

Last weekend, the judge who was appointed as arbitrator to settle the dispute over the prenuptial agreement ruled that the agreement is valid. Ms. Sanders challenged its validity, arguing that some initials on the document were allegedly forged and that, while the couple intended to enter an agreement, the prenup documentation was not complete when signed. The judge, as an arbitrator, ruled in favor of Deion over the weekend.

In the child custody dispute, the family law judge presiding over the divorce ruled that all three of the couple's children will live with their father. Ms. Sanders was given a visitation schedule. The judge further ordered that the father will have sole legal custody of the two boys, while Deion and Pilar will have joint legal custody of their 9-year-old daughter.

It is important to note, that although the court has issued a ruling in the child custody and visitation issues, the best interests of the child generally govern such issues. As the court's ruling highlights, there may be differences in custody arrangements for different children. As time passes, circumstances may change. A court may later modify custody and visitation issues.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, "Judge rules three children to live with Deion Sanders; Pilar Sanders gets visitation schedule," Valerie Wigglesworth, March 21, 2013

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