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Court makes child custody decision in Deion, Pilar Sanders divorce

Deion Sanders announced in 2011 that he and his wife Pilar had split up. Since that time the couple has been engaged in a contested divorce dispute. The estranged couple has three children together, and the two parents battled in a child custody dispute that has now been resolved in court.

New York readers may know that Deion played two professional sports. Pilar, a New York native, is a model and actress. The two entered into a prenuptial agreement which Pilar challenged in the divorce, but a judge ruled last weekend that the agreement is valid.

Generally, family law issues are governed by state law, and the divorce proceedings are being contested in Texas. But, issues surrounding child custody, support and prenuptial agreements do not necessarily differ greatly across the country.

New York law recognizes physical custody and legal custody as separate issues. Generally in New York physical custody involves where a child lives (which can be sole or joint physical custody. Legal custody refers to the authority to make important decisions concerning the child related to school, medical and other issues involving the child's general welfare.

In the recent Sanders divorce, the court ruled that the three children will live with their father. Meanwhile, Pilar was given a visitation schedule under the physical custody ruling, and the judge ordered that Deion Sanders will no longer be required to make child support payments due the physical custody ruling.

In the issue regarding legal custody, the court ruled that the father will have sole legal custody of the couple's two sons, and the two parents will share joint legal custody of the couple's 9-year-old daughter.

A different judge had been assigned as an arbitrator in the case to resolve the dispute over the prenuptial agreement. That judge ruled that the prenup is valid. The agreement involves property division and spousal maintenance issues. The agreement reportedly sets forth how the property will be divided and gives Pilar $100,000 for each year of the marriage up to a maximum of $1 million. The judge ruled over the weekend that the agreement is valid.

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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