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Not only are Pilar & Deion Sanders splitting, so are their assets

Primetime love turned courtroom drama. Maryland residents will be interested to hear that the stars of Oxygen's reality show "Deion and Pilar: Primetime Love," husband Deion Sanders and his wife Pilar Sanders have split, with Deion filing for divorce.

Once funded by his NFL and MLB salary, Deion Sanders has an extensive portfolio, including a $21 million ranch and a number of other assets acquired during the marriage. The judge presiding over the duo's high asset divorce will have to decide whether if the former couple's prenuptial agreement will apply. If it doesn't apply, asset division will be an important issue.

Each state's divorce laws are unique. Deion and Pilar will have to battle it out under Texas law. If the couple were in Maryland, the judge would determine who gets what under the doctrine of equitable distribution, assuming Deion and Pilar did not agree to what a fair split of property was. By the looks of the court documents, it does not seem likely that they do agree.

Equitable distribution assumes that marital property should be split relatively evenly, unless other factors apply that make it fair to give one person more property than the other. Examples of such factors include if the marriage wasn't that long, if one person brought more to the marriage than the other person did or domestic violence.

A judge applying equitable distribution would have some thinking to do in Deion and Pilar's marriage. Pilar has accused Deion of physical and mental abuse of her and her children. If true, this could affect many issues involved in their divorce.

Divorcing couples like Deion and Pilar don't always have to go to a judge to resolve their problems. They can go explore negotiation (where the attorneys from each side talk to each other and see if an agreement can be reached) or mediation (where a neutral mediator helps the parties come to an agreement).

Source: myfoxdfw.com, "Deion Sanders Files for Divorce," Melissa Cutler, Jan. 18, 2012

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