The Deion and Pilar Sanders drama and why you should never remain in the same house if separated

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images) Taken in 2008 of Deion and Pilar Sanders in happier times. Pilar was booked for assault on 04/24 and Deion was charged with misdemeanor assault on 4/25. Messy divorces don't really have to be

By now it’s all over the news about the altercation between former NFL star Deion Sanders and his wife Pilar Sanders who filed for divorce on or around February 2012.  In the latest incident, Deion Sanders charged his wife with assault and she spent a night in jail.  You can read more about this incident on every news outlet such as CNN.  What’s also included in this mess is Deion tweeting all about the incident and praying to God with images of his children smiling and filling out police report complaints on Twitter.

Why this case intrigues me?

It intrigues me because in some bizarre way, there are many elements in this case that are predominate and normal if you are going through a divorce.  Considering that this case is filed in Collin County, TX (the same county where my divorce was filed) I see a lot of similarities in the way my divorce and petition to modify went down in court and the way the Sander’s case is going down as well.  Rather than try to go through all the details, I’m going to outline some ways to protect yourself and your sanity while going through a divorce and stemming possible legal, financial and custodial damage later on down the line.

I’m not surprised she would want to strangle her husband

Of course I mean this metaphorically but when I hear of an incident where a woman or husband was abused either physically, emotionally or mentally I am not surprised that a physical altercation happens.  I know what it feels like mentally to want to choke your spouse or ex-spouse.  The difference is that as an adult you should have the presence of mind to not actually do it.  In the case of Pilar Sanders, based on children’s youth football camp interactions with her husband, Deion Sanders is exuberantly vocal.  He is not one to keep quiet and from his days on the football field, he is KNOWN to be a loudmouth.  (yes I said it, Cowboys fans, he’s a loudmouth).  I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan for life.  I expect my football players to be proud of their team, their performance and their athletic abilities and to be vocal about it.  Him being a loudmouth is nothing new to the world or to Pilar.  Knowing that she should BE AWARE that he is going to say something to PUSH HER BUTTONS!

How do you prevent your ex from pushing your buttons?

There is a simple way to prevent your ex from pushing your buttons.  It’s something called DISTANCE.  Distance yourself from this person as much as you can especially when you first get separated.  It may be difficult for you to sort out your own feelings, keep your wits about you and focus on planning out the rest of your life without this person.  Not to mention organizing all of your paperwork, getting ready for a divorce and at the same time coming up with a parenting plan on how to co-parent.  Whether you like it or not, your ability to keep your wits about your is going to be one of the most crucial skills you’ll NEED to learn for the rest of your life.  If you have kids with your ex, for the benefit of your children, you will have to communicate with your ex.  Start being MATURE now even if  your ex isn’t.

In the case of Pilar and Deion Sanders they continued to live in their 30,000 square foot home even after separating.  That was a big mistake especially since they have the financial means to set up a residence elsewhere.  For this couple, each is more wrapped up in control than they are about saving the big fight for later.  It was inevitable that there would be words since they couple and their children live in the same house.  Also, I can imagine that seeing your ex on the red carpet with one of his mistresses on April 22nd, didn’t sit well with Pilar either.

Keep up your self esteem and don’t take your battles out in public

I can admit that I have put a frustrating post or two on Facebook about my ex but Deion going into detail about this private matter on Twitter is FOOLISH and IMMATURE.  I can guarantee that no matter how famous you are, most people on social media quickly move on to the next tidbit  of information and really don’t care about what’s going on in your life.  Also, what other people think doesn’t really matter.  In the meantime, you sit around getting depressed and mortified about something that somebody wrote.  It’s difficult, you can’t manage the information flow so get over it.  Holding that feeling of being ashamed and depressed doesn’t bring you forward and only holds you back.  Keep your composure and your actions private while going through a divorce.  A divorce proceeding is when every aspect of your life has the potential to come under scrutiny of someone else (like the law!)  I’m not suggesting you become a hermit but I would definitely recommend you lay low and not post pics of your partying all over Facebook.

For Pilar and Deion Sanders, they are battling in public which then makes things such as their social media accounts subject to scrutiny not just by the public but also the law.  Remember that, if you don’t use it or abuse it, then nobody can use it against you.  I’m saying this because I can imagine that their situation has the potential for Child Protective Services to get involved.  Let me tell you how to handle a situation like that.

Dealing with Child Protective Services

The only advice I can give you is to be cooperative.  Based on what my own attorney has stated if you have nothing to hide, it doesn’t help to be defensive.  In would not surprise me if CPS is called with regard to the Sander’s case.  During times of divorce it is actually pretty common for CPS to be called whether the reasons are valid or not.  Anybody can file a complaint and be anonymous.  My ex and I divorced 4 years ago and last year he wanted to modify our petition.  During the course of this process, he was in contact with an ex-boyfriend of mine who told him erroneously untrue things.  Of course a case was filed with Child Protective Services and they came by and I cooperated fully with them.  Nothing was done and they didn’t find any wrong doing, however, the ordeal can rack you emotionally and really question your abilities as a parent.  I am thankful for CPS coming by because it really helped me refocus on my parenting skills.  With that I voluntarily took more parenting classes and started this site so that other parents could handle some of the things that I went through.  I don’t necessarily agree with everything that CPS does but I am cooperative and not ashamed of anything since I’m not doing anything wrong.

Continue to live conservatively

When you file a case in Collin County, a protective order is automatically put in place so it’s best you do everything you can to ensure that there is no disruption to the children during the divorce proceedings.  During this time period you are not allowed to:

  1. Remove the children from Texas
  2. Remove children from their school or daycare
  3. Disturb the peace of the children
  4. Ridicule each parent or the family member’s parents
  5. Using vulgar, obscene or profane language in front of the children
  6. Threatening the other party etc.  Read full list here!

So basically if you violate any of the above items and more, you can be subject to contempt.  Whether it is actually utilized remains to be seen but in the case of the Sander’s case one can assume, that these items will hold true in the latest developments and it is best to continually adhere to these standards and not disregard them if you are looking for a favorable outcome in your own divorce.  Also, I would live by many of these rules even after your divorce is over.  I have found that some couples will continually go back to modify their divorces even long after it’s been finalized.

Final piece of advice

Don’t get rattled.  Your ex is someone that you know very well so focus on how you react to his behavior.  That is one of the few things that you can control when going through a divorce.  In the process focus on what’s important to you and know that you will have to negotiate and in some cases compromise.  Don’t put yourself in a bad situation like Pilar Sanders and remember that not every story out there is telling the complete truth.  Protect your children, protect yourself before you protect your ego.  For someone in Pilar’s situation, she needs to seek therapy or talk to her clergy.  Probably Deion as well for the sake of everybody keeping their sanity during these times.  All Pilar sees is how great her husband is doing and she can’t be wrapped up in what is going on in someone else’s life.

Disclaimer:  I am not an attorney and my suggestions are based upon my own personal experiences.  If you have legal questions, you should consult a licensed attorney licensed to practice law in your state.