Berman & Asbel, LLP

Football star wins joint child custody in family court

When a Pennsylvania family court judge is tasked with making a determination in a child custody case, he or she has a wide range of factors to take into consideration. Chief among these is the best interests of the child or children involved. A judge will carefully review any evidence and testimony presented, and will work out a child custody plan that both parents must comply with.

One high profile child custody case that recently made headlines involves former football star Deion Sanders and his estranged wife, Pilar. The pair has been embroiled in a highly contentious divorce and custody battle for many months now, but a recent hearing settled many of the child custody issues. The judge ordered that the parents divide their parenting time evenly, while granting Deion certain specific authorities.

The three children will now rotate between the two households on a weekly basis. This will be a shift from the recent arrangement where the two boys lived with their father while the couple's daughter remained with her mother. In addition, Deion was granted the right to make all decisions concerning the education and athletic activities for the children. He is also allowed to determine their place of residence.

This case serves as an example of the detailed custody orders that are possible in family court. When working out a child custody arrangement, the best outcome is always one in which the two parents can come to an agreement about the care and custody of their children outside of a courtroom. When that is not possible, both parties need to prepare a comprehensive legal argument if they wish to convince a Pennsylvania judge that they are best suited to have full custody of their child or children.

Source: nbcdfw.com, "Judge: Deion to Make Educational, Residential, Athletic Decisions for Children," Frank Heinz, Jan. 16, 2013

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