Suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 20 years, Beth, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Monday.
The paper reported on its website that it appeared the petition filed in Tarrant County, Texas, on June 14 was written to avoid making the identities of the couple public.
The Payton family moved to the Dallas area in March 2011 although Sean Payton, who has been suspended for the entire 2012 season for misleading investigators looking into a bounty program the NFL said the Saints ran from 2009-11, maintained a residence in New Orleans.
The petition included the initials of (PSP) and (BAP), who were described as residents of Tarrant County, along with the date of the couple’s wedding and birthdates of their two minor children. The computer filename on the petition, however, includes the word “Payton.”
The petition lists the grounds for divorce as “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 filings indicated that the 48-year-old Payton has already moved out of his suburban Dallas home. It said he and Beth Payton hoped to divide their estate out of court and to have joint custody of their children, Meghan, 15, and Connor, 12.
However, Beth Payton filed a counter-petition on June 26 asking she be appointed the custodian “who has the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the children in Tarrant County, Texas.”
The petition asked that the court schedule Sean Payton’s access to the children “as necessary to protect the health and well-being of the children.”
Beth Payton also seeks the exclusive right to make decisions concerning the children’s medical, legal and educational interests and requested that Sean Payton pay support for their care and medical expenses.
She also asked that divorce proceedings not be assigned to an associate judge for trial unless the two agree in writing to a trial.
Married on July 11, 1992, the couple lived in the Dallas area from 2003-05 when Payton was the assistant head coach of the Dallas Cowboys under Bill Parcells.
The Paytons moved to Mandeville after he was named the 14th head coach of the Saints on Jan. 18, 2006.
In six seasons with the Saints, Payton has compiled a 67-37 overall record and has guided his team to three consecutive playoff appearances — capping the 2009 season with a 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.