By Nancy Hetrick
Just when I think things in the US can’t get any crazier, along comes the 2016 Presidential elections. Wow. I’ve started wondering what could happen in my business if Donald Trump were actually elected president. Would the climate around divorce laws change?
Donald Trump would be the first president on his third wife. Goodness knows he’s sacrificed a fair amount of his net worth to the last two despite carefully crafted pre-nups. Few of us even remember the scandal around his affair with Marla Maples during his marriage to Ivana resulting in their divorce. Ms. Maples became wife #2 after becoming pregnant but the marriage only lasted for 6 years. Marie Brenner of Vanity Fair wrote a piece at the time quoting Donald as saying, “When a man leaves a woman, especially when it was perceived that he has left for a piece of ass—a good one!—there are 50 percent of the population who will love the woman who was left.” Wow.
Mr. Trump has made it clear that he views marriage as a temporary convenience. In his 1997 book, The Art of the Comeback he wrote, “Often, I will tell friends whose wives are constantly nagging them about this or that that they’re better off leaving and cutting their losses,” wrote Trump. “I’m not a great believer in always trying to work things out, because it just doesn’t happen that way. For a man to be successful he needs support at home, just like my father had from my mother, not someone who is always griping and bitching. When a man has to endure a woman who is not supportive and complains constantly about his not being home enough or not being attentive enough, he will not be very successful unless he is able to cut the cord.” The trend in the US for quite some time has been away from lengthy alimony awards and toward “rehabilitative” awards instead. But his home state of New York has long been one of the last holdouts still handing out lifetime maintenance awards on a regular basis along with New Jersey and California. Illinois just this year revised their statutes to become far less generous as well.
My guess is that if Mr. Trump has anything to say about it, he’ll support giving women the shaft in divorce to whatever degree he can get away with. Of course, he may be way too busy building a wall on our border to worry about such trivial things