A Super Bowl-winning National Football League head coach and his wife each have filed petitions for divorce in Texas.
Sean Payton, who has been suspended by the league for the upcoming 2012 season, and his wife are both seeking to divorce in Tarrant County, Texas. His filing lists discord or conflict of personalities as reasons for the divorce and requests joint custody of the couple’s two children. They have a daughter, 15, and a son, 12.
Payton’s wife, however, wants primary physical custody as well as legal custody of the children. She wants the ability to unilaterally make decisions about things such as education and medical care for the children. She wants her husband to pay child support and medical expenses for the children.
The Paytons moved to Texas several years ago when the Dallas Cowboys hired Sean as an assistant coach. After three years, they moved to New Orleans when he accepted the head coaching job with the Saints, where he won the Super Bowl.
But last year, the family raised eyebrows in New Orleans when it moved back to Texas, locating in the Fort Worth suburb of Westlake. Saints fans feared that Payton was not as committed to the city and team.
The Paytons, at the time of the move, however, said they were basing their family in Westlake for personal reasons, including enrolling their children in a private school there. The coach commuted between the two communities during the 2011 season.
It was largely expected Payton would spend this year at home in Texas, but he has moved out of the house, according to court papers. Payton was suspended for failing to stop what has been referred to as the Saints’ “bounty system,” where players received bonuses when their defensive efforts forced targeted players from the opposing team to leave the game with injury.
In the wake of his suspension, Payton said he intended to spend time with his children and to coach his son’s football team. No matter what caused the couple to decide to divorce, both must remember their actions should be in the children’s best interest.
Source: Associated Press, “Sean Payton Divorce: Saints’ Coach, Wife File Divorce Petitions,” July 3, 2012