According to Google Trends, search terms like “Melania Trump filed for divorce” have become breakout queries over the past 30 days. For the record, Melania has not filed for divorce, according to Snopes. However, that hasn’t stopped divorce lawyers from pontificating about what could happen if First Lady Melania Trump became the only presidential wife thus far to divorce a sitting President of the U.S.
As reported by the Inquisitr, some members of the public believe that a divorce could raise Melania’s profile in terms of her public persona. Yet a new report citing a group of top matrimonial attorneys doesn’t discount the power that President Donald Trump could hold in such a circumstance.
According to the New York Daily News, a divorce between Melania and President Trump during his reign as Commander-in-Chief would represent not only a legal precedence but would also involve marital concerns such as who would have the right to continue living in the White House. The publication tapped eight famous divorce attorneys who are experts in matrimonial law to pontificate on how a divorce filing by Melania might play out.
Although the attorneys agreed that a divorce between Mr. and Mrs. Trump during their White House years would be an unlikely occasion, the possibility of a divorce brought to mind the power that President Trump could exact concerning Melania’s access to the White House. Under normal circumstances, divorcing spouses might find it difficult to get a judge to force their mate out of the marital home. However, top divorce lawyer Raoul Felder, who was Rudolph Giuliani’s attorney during his marital split, noted that “the President could do whatever the President wants.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) April 4, 2018
Felder concluded that President Trump “could put anybody out of the White House,” and even command marshals to surround the White House and say that he wouldn’t want Melania to enter the most famous address in the nation. Such a scenario could be one of the reasons why all of the divorce attorneys agreed unanimously that Melania likely would not divorce Trump while he is still president.
However, not all of the D.C.-area divorce attorneys agreed that President Trump enjoys enough all-consuming power to put Melania out of the White House if he so desired in the midst of a divorce. Whereas attorney Rebekah Sullivan noted that President Trump possesses the power of “the marshals or military or Secret Service” to help him extract unwanted parties from the White House, other lawyers noted that the White House is owned by Americans – not Mr. or Mrs. Trump.
As such, D.C. attorney Cheryl Hepfer noted that Melania may not be able to claim rights to remain in the property of the government in the case of a divorce. In D.C. both parties are entitled to remain within a “jointly titled home” while the divorce proceedings occur – only if nothing extreme such as domestic violence has occurred. Barring such circumstances, both Melania and President Trump could have the right to stay in the White House during his tenure as president amid a divorce, but only if the compensation package given to President Trump or any other governing rules didn’t explicitly state that Melania could no longer live therein.