[I]f you are a fan of the NFL, TMZ, scandal sheets, or reality TV shows, you likely already know Pilar Sanders went to jail for being habitually late on returning kids.
But it’s significant. Pilar Sanders paid a heavy price for not cooperating with visitation rights with her children to her one-time husband, one-time Dallas Cowboys All-Pro Deion Sanders. Not only did she fail to return them after visitation, she illegally took them.
You Can Lose Joint Custody being Habitually Late Returning Kids or Not Following Your Visitation Schedule
The couples’ divorce agreement resulted in a Collin (TX) county court giving Deion sole custody of the couples’ 11 and 13 year old, but joint custody was granted with regards to their nine year old. However, now the Hall of Famer has been awarded sole custody of all three of their children.
Pilar was held in contempt, and immediately taken into custody. Initially, the judge sentenced her to 30 days in jail, but suspended the sentence for a year. But on December 12, 2014, the sentence was changed to seven days in county jail.
Pilar didn’t help her case. She appeared in court without an attorney, and at one point told the court that she “was not a part of the United States Corporation.” Pilar believes she can only be judged by the “Moroccan Empire.” Unfortunately for her, that nation doesn’t exist.
When asked if she had questions for any of Deion’s witnesses, she said, “I stand mute.”
According to Madame Noire:
Deion testified that this past summer, after her visitation with the children had expired, Pilar did not return them. A police officer testified that he made three trips to her home attempting to return the children to Deion. The first time no one answered the door, the second Pilar would not allow the deputies inside and the third time, the officer had authority to enter the home by force to retrieve the children. The officer testified that during their interactions, Pilar said that she was a Moorish American, under the laws of Morocco and the laws of the United States did not apply to her.
If Your Ex is Habitually Late Returning Kids, File Contempt
While few have much in common with the Sanders’ in the category of either money or status, their case can still be instructive. First, notice that the judge initially ruled to split the children, an unusual move. Also, Deion didn’t give up. When Pilar violated the divorce agreement, he pressed and finally won the day.
When dealing with children in a divorce agreement, it’s not final. Circumstances can change, and that can work in your favor. Take notes if the agreement is violated; what happened, when, where and list any witnesses who can help strengthen your case. And don’t let discrepancy pass. It might not be anything, but patterns of behavior start somewhere, and the more violations you can track, the better your case.
Parents Follow the Visitation Orders & Return Timely
Parents you can be found in contempt for not releasing your children according to orders, not returning your children timely or keeping or taking your children longer than you are suppose too. Most judges give a grace period of 30 minutes and will allow for an occasional late emergency. However, if the tardiness because frequent, the habitual pattern could land you in jail and the loss of joint custody. No one is above the law, not even Pilar Sanders.
What problems do you or the other parent have in regards to your visitation orders?
Feature image from www.DollarPhotoClub.com, Deion image from Michael De Jesus via Wikimedia Commons.