Deion Sanders given custody of sons, shared custody of daughter

Just a quick glance through the daily headlines will tell you that there is no shortage of celebrity divorce disputes. The bright side of these much-publicized stories is that they illustrate many of the same problems everyday New Yorkers have to confront.

For example, consider the recent jury decision in the Deion and Pilar Sanders child custody dispute. The former NFL star and the former model decided to take their case to trial, which isn't as common as reaching an agreement otherwise, but the contentious nature of their dispute may be all-too-familiar for many people in New York.

Much mud-slinging occurred in this case, but, then, again, the stakes were high. Deion and Pilar have three children together, and a jury decided to give Deion primary custody of his two sons. He and Pilar were given shared custody of their daughter. The little girl is 9 years old, and the two boys are 11 and 13.

The child custody laws in Texas, where the trial took place, aren't exactly the same as the ones in New York, but they are similar. Because Deion was given primary custody, he has parental rights in matters of his sons' education, extracurricular activities and healthcare. He and Pilar must consult with each other over decisions regarding their daughter.

A News One article indicates that Pilar was "flabbergasted" over the jury's decision, and her lawyers have said that they plan to appeal.

Outside of the courtroom, Deion said he was "elated." "In any war, there will be casualties," he said, "but I didn't want the casualties in this case to be my kids."

Parents in a similar situation need to be aware of their legal options for protecting their children's best interests.

Source: News One, "Deion Sanders Wins Child Custody Battle Against Estranged Wife Pilar," Ruth Manuel-Logan, March 13, 2013

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