Deion Sanders Announces Divorce on Facebook

NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders announced on Facebook on Sunday that he’s getting a divorce: “Pilar and I have decided to end our marriage and move on to the next phase of our individual lives with mutual respect.”

Deion and Pilar Sanders have been married for twelve years and have three children. The couple owns a 30,000 square foot home in Prosper, Tex., which is 35 miles north of Dallas.

Sanders previously denied rumors of a divorce in late September.

Source:  NBC Chicago.com, “Deion Sanders Announces Divorce on Facebook,” December 19, 2011

Beyoncé’s Parents’ Divorce Finalized

A Texas court issued a divorce decree for Tina and Mathew Knowles in November. The couple filed for divorce in 2009.

The Knowles were married for 31 years and separated in 2009 when Mathew fathered a child with actress Alexsandra White. Mathew denied that he was the father but a paternity test proved otherwise. White gave birth to a son in February 2010.

In March, Beyoncé announced in March that Mathew would no longer serve as her manager but denied that their relationship was strained as a result of her parents’ separation.

Source: TMZ.com, “Beyonce’s Parents Finally Divorced…for Real This Time,” December 19, 2011

Kobe Bryant’s Wife Files for Divorce

NBA star Kobe Bryant’s wife filed for divorce on Friday, according to TMZ.

Vanessa Bryant, 29, reportedly decided to end the marriage because Kobe (who was charged with sexually assaulting a woman in Colorado in 2003) has been unfaithful again.

Kobe and Vanessa have been married for 10½ years and have two daughters – Natalia (8) and Giana (5).

Source:  TMZ.com, “Kobe Bryant’s Wife Files for Divorce – He Cheated Too Much,” December 16, 2011

Divorce Leads to Bigamy Charges for UK Woman

Steven Baker received the shock of his life when he filed for divorce from his estranged wife, Danielle Loxton, and discovered that she was married to two other men.

Loxton, 37, first walked down the aisle in 1994 with Peter Clarke, who worked with her at a holiday camp. The couple separated but never divorced.

Loxton then set her sights on Baker, the manager at the camp, and married him in 1999. They had a son together but she left him a few years later while she was pregnant with what Baker thought was his second child.

Baker filed for divorce in 2004 and discovered not only that the second child was not his, but that Loxton was still married to Clarke, who he knew from the holiday camp. Baker was subsequently informed by his lawyer that Loxton got married in August 2006 to Stacey Porter, another friend of his.

The matter was referred to the police and Loxton eventually pled guilty to two counts of bigamy. She received a suspended sentence of 7 months in prison and a £1,000 fine.

Loxton’s attorney said that she had taken steps to getting divorced from her first husband but apparently cut corners.

Steven Baker spoke afterwards about his marriage to Loxton and recalled being told by Peter Clarke that he was married to Loxton but he didn’t believe him:

“One night [Clarke] said he was married to Danielle while we were joking around … she was laughing, I didn’t believe him and she denied all knowledge of being married.”

According to The Telegraph, Loxton lists herself as “single” on Facebook.

Source: The Telegraph, “Jilted husband discovered cheating wife was serial bigamist, court told,” John Bingham, December 16, 2011 

State Can Intercept Tax Refunds of Bankrupt Debtors to Collect Child Support

A federal bankruptcy appeals court ruled that the state of New Hampshire can intercept tax refunds to collect child support payments from debtors who have filed for bankruptcy.

A bankruptcy court previously ruled that the state did not have the right to intercept tax funds owed to a Chapter 13 debtor unless permitted by the debtor’s bankruptcy plan.  The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit reversed the lower court’s decision.

“Bankruptcy is not intended as a haven from child support responsibilities and I am gratified that the Appellate Panel recognized that with this decision,” said New Hampshire Attorney General Michael A. Delaney.  According to a press release from Delaney’s office, the state’s tax refund intercept program brought in approximately $9 million in 2008.

Source:  Boston.com, “State can collect child support during bankruptcy,” Associated Press, December 9, 2011

Court Issues Arrest Warrant for “Millionaire Dead Beat Dad”

A Florida judge issued a warrant for the arrest of businessman John Stanton for failing to pay $10 million in child and spousal support.

Hillsborough County Judge Caroline Tesche entered a judgment of criminal contempt on Thursday and sentenced Stanton to 5 months and 29 days in jail.  Stanton was not present in court during the hearing.

Stanton’s lawyer claims that his client is unemployed and cannot afford to pay. He says that Stanton has had to borrow money to get by and borrowed funds cannot be treated as income for child and spousal support purposes.

An attorney for Stanton’s ex-wife, Susan, says that Stanton is a good liar and very skillful at hiding his wealth and assets.

Source:  ABC Action News, “Arrest warrant issued for ‘millionaire dead beat dad’ who owes $10M in child, spousal support,” Alison Morrow, December 16, 2011

Rodney Atkins Files for Divorce, Denies Wife’s Allegations of Domestic Violence

Country singer Rodney Atkins has filed for divorce from his wife Tammy Jo. His lawyer denied on Thursday that he assaulted Tammy Jo last month.

Atkins was arrested on November 21st and charged with domestic violence. Tammy Jo told the police that Atkins was drunk and assaulted her, alleging that he tried to suffocate her with a pillow. She also claims that he grabbed her by the face and shoved her down a hallway.

The couple has a 10-year old son, Elijah.  They are due in court for their divorce case on December 20th.

Source:  Associated Press, “Atkins files for divorce, attorneys deny assault,” Caitlin R. King, December 15, 2011

“Teen Mom” Reality Star Loses Custody of Daughter

“Teen Mom” star Amber Portwood lost custody of her daughter Leah.  Gary Shirley, Leah’s father, was awarded sole custody this week.

Portwood still has visitation rights. She reportedly gets to see Leah every other weekend and splits the holidays with Shirley.

Portwood is currently in hot water for allegedly violating the terms of her parole. She was previously convicted of committing acts of domestic violence against Shirley.

Source:  Gather.com, “ ‘Teen Mom’ Amber Portwood Loses Complete Custody, Lawyer Confirms,” Mary Jane, December 15, 2011

Appeals Court Refuses to Set Aside Man’s Divorce Settlement on Insanity Grounds

A California appellate court rejected a Los Angeles man’s argument that he lacked the mental capacity to sign his divorce settlement.

James Sylvester and his wife finalized their divorce in July 2009. Thirteen months later, he asked the trial court to set aside his divorce settlement because he was “mentally unstable or under duress when [he] signed the petition.” Sylvester also sought to get spousal support from his ex-wife.

Sylvester submitted as proof of his insanity statements from his ex-wife’s lawyer that he might be “mentally unstable” and a July 2009 police report which described him as “delusional.”

He also claimed that his ex-wife’s attorney coerced him into signing the divorce settlement and “continually and systematically broke down his mental stability.” Sylvester also said that he was afraid of what might happen to him if he did not sign the divorce papers and was worried that he “might get killed before the trial date” so his wife could collect on his life insurance policy.

The Court of Appeal rejected Sylvester’s arguments and held that he failed to provide any legal citations or authorities in support of his case.

Source:  LA Weekly, “California Appeals Court Tells James Sylvester He’s Not Crazy Enough to Get Out of His Divorce Settlement, Chris Vogel, December 14, 2011

Mrs. Illinois Files for Divorce, Gives Up Crown

Christine Garcia, winner of the 2012 Mrs. Illinois beauty pageant, has filed for divorce and plans to give up her crown. She has been married to ABC 7 Chicago reporter John Garcia for nine years.

Garcia told the Chicago Sun-Times that she has “decided to step down as the current Mrs. Illinois since the pageant honors the accomplishments of married women.” The Illinois beauty pageant requires contestants to be married, “of good health and moral character,” born female, and married to a spouse that was born male.

Garcia (who works as a publicist) won the pageant in late August and was crowned by her husband.

Source:  Huffington Post, “Christine Garcia, Mrs. Illinois, Giving Up Crown Amid Pending Divorce,” December 14, 2011