Deion Sanders’s Prenuptial Agreement Debate

Deion Sanders, famous football hall of fame all star, has recently gone through a divorce that can teach any person going through or expecting a divorce some important lessons.Born in Fort Myers, Florida, Deion went on to become a star football and baseball player for the Florida State University. Playing football as a Seminole, Sanders was a two time All-American cornerback in 1986 and 1987. Deion Sanders then went on to play successfully for several MLB and NFL teams. He is most often identified for his football legacy with the Dallas Cowboys. Sanders also holds the all-time record for defensive and kick return touchdowns. Sanders currently works as an NFL analyst.

The divorce began and stalled shortly after. In September 2011, Pilar Sanders, Deion’s wife since 1999, was served with divorce papers from Deion. Deion eventually denied this service and claimed the divorce was nothing but a rumor. Then in December 2011, Deion admitted that he was getting divorced.

The divorce ultimately turned into a lengthy process as Pilar and her lawyer brought numerous contentions regarding their prenuptial agreement (“prenup”). The prenup gave Pilar $100,000 after signing and would give her $1 million upon divorce, however, she would be eligible for much more in absence of the agreement. Nonetheless, during the trial filed by Pilar to contend the prenup, questions on whether her initials were forged in certain sections led to a handwriting expert to be brought in and testify it was not authentic. In addition, there were rumors of abuse during the marriage and accusations of coercion and failure to disclose assets during the signing process.The judge ultimately upheld the validity of the prenup heavily relying on statements made by Pilar in 1999 when Pilar had testified in court that the prenup was fair to her.

Deion and Pilar are expected to go to arbitration in March 2013 for the distribution of assets. The prenup did not, however, describe child custody issues. Both parents vied for full custody. On January 17, 2013, a Texas judge awarded Sanders the exclusive rights to determine the primary residence of the children and make any educational decisions. The couple are now set to share joint custody by alternating weeks. Deion does though owe a hefty $108,000 for attorney fees for his children’s representation.

As of 2007, Florida follows the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act . The one distinction Florida has made is found under Section 732.702 which requires the agreement be executed before two witnesses if the agreement handles postmortem succession of assets. In other words, in Florida a prenuptial will need to abide by basic will requirements in order for it to be treated as a will.

In the past, Florida viewed prenuptial agreements skeptically and, as a result, often failed to enforce them. Under the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, Florida now will recognize even the most one-sided unfair prenups as long as basic requirements are met.

Pertinent to the Deion Sanders divorce, a party in Florida cannot challenge a prenuptial agreement by claiming there was no disclosure of assets. There is a requirement, however, that the waiver be clearly written in the prenup.

If you need assistance with the drafting of a prenuptial agreement or managing a divorce involving a prenuptial agreement, contact the Law Office of Sandy T. Fox to speak with a knowledgeable Florida family law attorney.

Attorney Sandy T. Fox is committed to helping his clients in throughout South Florida resolve their family law matters. His practice focuses exclusively on family law issues and can assist you with any of your family law needs such as: prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, divorce, domestic violence, paternity, alimony, and child support and custody. To schedule your confidential consultation with experienced family law attorney Sandy T. Fox, please do not hesitate to call our law office toll free at (800) 596-0579 or contact us through our website.

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