Deion Sanders' wife says the former NFL star didn't have the stones to personally tell her he wants a divorce ... shockingly, she learned about the move by checking TMZ.com.
Pilar Sanders' lawyer, Larry Friedman, tells us she was "heartbroken and surprised when [she] read ... that Deion announced his decision, on his own, to end their marriage."
Pilar's lawyer adds, "Pilar's sole focus and top priority for the last 12.5 years has been her marriage and children. Based on recent discoveries, [Pilar] now realizes that Deion did not view their family the same way."
Friedman would not reveal any details about the "recent discoveries" to which he referred.
Friedman tells us Pilar has NOT negotiated a divorce settlement with Deion -- but says she fully intends to protect herself and her children.
Translation -- this divorce ain't gonna come cheap.
Still, Pilar says she isn't 100% convinced the marriage is dead ... chalking up Deion's recent behavior to a "temporary lapse of judgment" ... and insisting she's "confident that he will come to his senses and return to his family as he has in the past."
An adviser for Deion tells TMZ ... the athlete's original statement "speaks for itself" ... adding, "In the best interest of the children, he will not be discussing this matter any further in the media."
Files for Divorce
12/27/2011 1:17 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
He told you he was gonna do it ... and now TMZ has learned, Deion Sanders has officially filed for divorce from his wife Pilar.
In the documents, Deion states he and Pilar "ceased to live together as husband and wife" on Dec. 21, the date the petition for divorce was filed in Texas.
Deion continues, "The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict" ... which "prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation."
Deion announced his intentions to get divorced earlier this month -- claiming, "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 were married on May 21, 1999. They have 3 children together. Attempts to reach Pilar were unsuccessful.
Divorce Will Cost Him
A GIANT HOUSE
12/20/2011 8:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Deion Sanders is going to wish he lived in a one-bedroom apartment in a bad part of town -- because TMZ has learned a provision in his prenup states the bigger the home he lives in ... the more he has to fork over to his soon-to-be ex-wife Pilar.
As TMZ first reported, Deion and Pilar are ending their marriage after 12 years. According to our sources, the papers will be filed soon.
Sources close to the couple tell us Deion had agreed to buy Pilar a house when they split ... equal to half the value of whatever their current home is. Well nowadays they live in Prosper, TX -- in a home that's almost 30,000 square feet, with 10 bedrooms, 9 full baths (and 4 half baths) ... and a listing price of $21 million.
We're told Pilar has been house hunting since Thanksgiving, looking for a home in the $9-12 million range.
I'm Getting Divorced
12/17/2011 5:55 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Deion Sanders and his wife Pilar are getting divorced ... Sanders tells TMZ.
In a statement, the NFL Hall of Famer tells us, "Pilar and I have decided to end our marriage and move on to the next phase of our individual lives with mutual respect. We are friends and our top priority has and will continue to be the well-being of our children."
He continues, "We arrived at this decision prayerfully and carefully in order to be able to pursue what is in both of our best personal interests."
Deion and Pilar married in 1999 and they have three children together.