The parents in the center of the “affluenza teen” case are in the process of getting divorced for the second time. Fred and Tonya Couch have been divorced in the past, but remarried, only to have Fred Couch file for divorce again in August, but not for the reason that one would assume. It seems Fred Couch believes that Tonya Couch was mean to him. Considering that their son, Ethan Couch, is being held in a Mexican prison and Tonya Couch is still awaiting release from a Tarrant County, Texas jail, it would seem that a breakdown in the family relationships would be an obvious reason for divorce, but no. Fred Couch wants out because of treatment from Tonya.
According to the Inquisitr, Tonya Couch got her bail reduced in Texas yesterday and will be staying with her son from a previous marriage with an ankle monitor. Tonya Couch will also have to undergo a psych evaluation to check to see if Couch is mentally ill or slow to verify that she can assist in her defense. This can only help Fred Couch in his petition for divorce.
The Star-Telegram confirmed that Fred Couch filed for divorce for the second time this August after remarrying in 2011. Tonya Couch confirmed this information in court yesterday but said the couple’s second divorce is not yet final. The judge asked if the couple had a prenuptial agreement, and her lawyer, Stephanie Patten, said she did not know.
The judge also asked Tonya Couch is she was competent to stand trial, to which she answered, “I think so.”
The affidavit in this case confirmed that Tonya Couch had taken $30,000 out of their bank account and called Fred Couch to tell him that he would never see her or Ethan again.
WFAA released the information from a home study during the Couch first divorce that examined the parenting style and relationship with Ethan Couch, and it showed some serious flaws. Dr. Michael Flynn explained the information included in the study. He believes that they had no idea how dysfunctional they were.
“They were just letting all the laundry hang out as if it were normal; as if some of what they were doing was perfectly normal… and it wasn’t,” Flynn said after analyzing the study.
At the age of 9, Ethan Couch was still sleeping with his mother even though he had his own bedroom.
“Tonya has [Ethan’s] bed in her room and considers Ethan to be her protector.Very unusual,” Flynn said of that arrangement. “Very unusual, and highly questionable.”
The term “adultified” was used to explain that Ethan was treated as an equal, rather than as a child.
“This was a very dysfunctional family,” Flynn said. “Did not prepare Ethan for adulthood. It doesn’t surprise me at all that it has run its course this way.”
At the time of the fatal accident, Ethan Couch was living alone in the family’s former house. Fred and Tonya had moved into a new home.
But, obviously, Tonya Couch was not the only family member with huge issues, according to the Mineral Wells Index. Fred Couch graduated from Mineral Wells High School, and his classmates don’t want their names mentioned along with any comments about him.
“I went to school with him, yes,” replied one person. “I don’t want to comment about him publicly.”
D Magazine gave a great deal of background on the Couch family, especially about Tonya Couch and pill addiction.
“Fred told the social worker that their marriage had been a ‘mistake from the start.’ He said that Tonya had a pill addiction and that she’d given Vicodin to Ethan more than once. He said that she’d threatened to commit suicide and that she referred to 9-year-old Ethan as her ‘protector.’ At the time, Ethan slept most nights in a separate bed his mother moved into her bedroom.”
Do you think that it was foreseeable that Ethan Couch would end up in trouble?
[Photo by LM Otero/AP Images]