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Cowboys star wins at prenuptial hearing

Obtaining a legal divorce can be a convoluted, taxing, and long drawn-out process. Oftentimes the deciding of child custody, property ownership, asset allocation, and potential alimony payments takes far more time in the courtroom than either spouse anticipates when the decision to divorce is first reached. In some cases, the outcome of crucial legal arbitration can rest on a single past statement, decision, or signature.

A certain high-profile Dallas Cowboys star and his ex-wife are learning this lesson in vivid colors. Last week, as ongoing divorce hearings between former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders and his estranged wife Pilar resumed at the Collin County Courthouse, a judge handed Sanders a huge victory, declaring valid a 1999 prenuptial agreement between the two. Pilar Sanders had wanted the agreement thrown out as arbitration proceeded.

Circumstances surrounding the agreement are complex. In order for the agreement to have been thrown out, evidence of fraud or forced signature would have needed to be demonstrated before the McKinney judge. Neither were confirmed, but disagreement over an alleged $100,000 "signing bonus" incentive offered by Deion for Pilar Sanders to sign the agreement continues. The former Cowboys player claims Pilar requested the bonus herself.

In addition to the confirmed prenuptial agreement, Deion also has been granted temporary custody of the couple's two sons, while their daughter remains with Pilar. Child support payments for Deion were set at $4,500 per month. The Cowboys

Super Bowl champion asserted that his ex-wife hoped to have the agreement thrown out in order to "keep up with the lifestyle she had when living with him."

In divorce proceedings, as emotions run high and matters of lasting financial importance can be decided, oftentimes the law remains clear in the face of couples' heated debates. When something as simple as a signature from a decade past can make the difference in arbitration, having an attorney experienced in divorce law can guarantee that the law is upheld and both spouses retain what's rightfully theirs.

Source: CBS DFW, "Court Upholds Sanders Prenup," Stephanie Lucero, Oct. 24, 2012

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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