Head coach of New Orleans Saints files for divorce here in Texas

Last week, all 32 NFL teams officially opened training camp in preparation for the upcoming season. However, one of these teams, the New Orleans Saints, is entering the year without one of its crucial members. Specifically, they are without head coach Sean Payton who was suspended for the entire 2012 season by the NFL for his role in the Bountygate scandal.

Interestingly, Payton made headlines right here in Texas earlier this summer when he filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 20 years in Tarrant County.

Court records indicate that Payton filed the divorce petition on June 14, citing “discord or conflict of personalities between Petitioner and Respondent that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”

The divorce petition indicates that Payton, a former assistant head coach with the Cowboys, has officially packed his things and left the family home in an affluent Dallas suburb. He is seeking joint custody of the couple’s two children and an out-of-court division of assets.

Interestingly, Beth Payton filed a counter-petition for divorce on June 26, requesting sole physical and legal custody, as well as child support. Her petition asks the court to grant Sean Payton visitation rights “as necessary to protect the health and well-being of the children.”

In her answer to the divorce petition filed by Sean Payton, filed on the same date, she requests that the divorce not be assigned to a Tarrant County judge for trial unless both her and her husband agree to this in writing.

It remains unclear as to what exactly precipitated the divorce between the Paytons, but it’s highly possible that the stress of everyday life in the NFL — perhaps coupled with the fallout from Bountygate — played a role.

Consider the following passage from Sean Payton’s book entitled “Home Team: Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life.”

“Whenever you take a new coaching job and you have a young family, you really spend a year away from them, at least to some degree,” he wrote. “You’re starting the new job. You have to sell your old house. So you lose a good part of a year.”

Stay tuned for updates from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about traditional dissolution of marriage, child custody or property division, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The New Orleans Time Picayune, “Saints coach Sean Payton, wife file for divorce,” Ryan Jones, July 2, 2012