It only took America 242 years, but we are finally having a conversation about what would happen if the President got divorced while in office. It’s a completely unprecedented situation, but after the reported marital discord between President Donald Trump and his wife Melania, lawyers are weighing in on just what would happen if the First Couple decided to call it quits.
The New York Daily News recently spoke with eight top matrimonial lawyers, and they are divided on whether or not the First Lady could stay in the White House if the Trumps split.
Of course, everything is purely hypothetical, since the likelihood of a divorce is slim to none.
Several of the attorneys said that usually, it is impossible to kick an estranged spouse out of the home, but since Trump is the Commander-In-Chief, that could give him unusual power over Melania’s access to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“I think the President could do whatever the President wants,” said Raoul Felder, who represented Rudolph Giuliani in his divorce.
Felder attempted to keep Giuliani’s ex out of Gracie Mansion, but he was unsuccessful.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 8, 2018
He went on to say that the President can keep anybody out of the White House, and if he didn’t want Melania there, he could make it happen.
Washington D.C. divorce lawyer Rebekah Sullivan also said that is difficult to get a spouse out of the marital home. But, she agreed that Trump’s security complicates the situation since he has U.S. Marshals, the military, and the Secret Service to help him enforce his decisions.
Past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Cheryl Hepfer, said that since the White House is a government property, it could negatively affect Melania’s claims to residency rights, and Sarah Mancinelli – who repped Joe Biden’s son Hunter in his divorce – agreed.
Ownership is the key issue, and since the Trumps don’t own the White House, Melania wouldn’t have the right to secure residency. Living at the White House could be viewed as part of the President’s compensation package, and therefore it is his right to live there, not Mrs. Trump’s.
The First Lady continues to stay quiet as the Stormy Daniels saga continues. She is dealing with the situation with stoic silence and the occasional voluntary separation from her husband.
But, in their first public appearance after Daniels’ 60 Minutes interview, the Trumps walked hand-in-hand as they entered church for Easter Sunday.
First Lady Melania Trump may be embarrassed or frustrated, but she is seemingly determined to stand by her man.