Posted on behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA
Sports fans may have seen Deion Sanders’s name in the headlines recently, but this time the news comes from his personal life. As of late, Sanders has found himself in the midst of a highly contested divorce and child custody battle over his three children. Both he and his wife have been quite public with their accusations about each other’s character and actions.
Sanders has called his estranged spouse “the ultimate gold digger,” while his wife claims that Deion was abusive during their 14-year marriage. All of this came to a head last April, when both were issued criminal charges stemming from an unsavory episode of domestic violence.
At stake in the matter is a share of the Sanders’ $250 million estate, but perhaps most importantly is the custody of their two sons and one daughter.
Last month the two parents were in court for a child support hearing in which Deion, who has temporary custody over his two boys, had his child support payment amount reduced from over $10,000 per month to $5,500. His wife has custody of their daughter, and Deion has visitation rights at scheduled times.
Unfortunately, the couple’s very public differences may not sit well with a judge, who may find that joint custody — which is generally the default in most parenting plans — is impossible. The judge may order that either Deion or his wife retain primary custody of one, two or all of the children, or may split the children up according to their wishes and other factors. The non-custodial parent may be granted visitation, but in highly volatile divorces, a judge may be hesitant to allow even that.
Divorce is never easy, but child custody issues only make it more emotionally difficult. People going through a divorce can seek the expertise of an experienced family law attorney to help manage important child custody issues.
Source: Florida Courier, “Pilar Sanders: Deion was abusive,” Jan. 3, 2013