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Arbitrator finds Deion Sanders prenuptial agreement valid

In December 2011, football star Deion Sanders posted on Facebook that he and his wife were going to divorce. Since the announcement, Texas residents have watched numerous disputes play out in the proceedings, including child custody, child support and allegations of assault and criminal mischief between the spouses. Recently, it was ruled that the prenuptial agreement contested by Mrs. Sander's attorneys is valid.

Sanders' wife had claimed that the prenuptial agreement should not stand because it was partially forged. However, a family law arbitrator found that both spouses signed the agreement. This decision means that the parties will not have any opportunity to litigate any issues addressed in the agreement, such as the division of marital assets.

The spouses had previously been to court over custody of the children. Sanders was made the primary conservator of the couple's two sons and a joint conservator of the couple's daughter. A conservator is able to make decisions regarding the child's upbringing, including where the child should live, in which activities the children may participate, and where the children go to school. However, the court retained the right to determine visitation. As conservator, Sanders will not have to make any additional child support payments.

Persons who are planning to marry have the ability to make decisions at the outset of the marriage and put them into a prenuptial agreement. The spouses can agree on a number of issues, including custody of later-born children, child support, spousal support, what property should be considered separate property and division of marital assets. These agreements provide invaluable insurance in case the marriage breaks down later. A family law attorney may be able to help negotiate and draft an agreement.

Source: NBCDFW.com, "Prenuptial agreement will stand in Sanders divorce," March 20, 2013

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