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Barry Sanders

Leaves Marriage in the Dust

2/27/2012 4:59 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Barry Sanders and Lauren Campbell-Sanders
He could've been the greatest husband of all time ... but Barry Sanders is leaving the world of marriage ... healthy ... and years before his prime.

Sanders has filed for divorce from his wife, TV newscaster Lauren Campbell-Sanders ... after 11 years of marriage and 3 kids together.

According to OaklandPress.com, Barry filed the docs in Michigan ... in which he explains there's been a breakdown in the marital relationship with no chance they'll be able to work things out.

In the docs, Barry notes that he expects to pay child support for their 3 kids -- ages 4, 8 and 10.

Sanders has another kid from a previous relationship ... Barry Sanders Jr. -- a superstar running back who recently committed to Stanford.

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