Trump Jr. Files for Divorce

Posted: 8 September, 2021


Donald Trump Jr., (not POTUS Trump), and his wife Vanessa filed for divorce in New York.  Actually, Vanessa filed an uncontested divorce first, and then switched it to a contested.   It doesn’t really matter who files for a divorce but switching from uncontested (aka Joint Petition in Nevada) to a contested changes the situation.

Vanessa, and Trump Jr. were married in 2005, and have five children.  Vanessa cites irreconcilable differences for the reason for the divorce.  Reports speculate she filed over numerous affairs Donald Jr., has had.   Insiders state that Vanessa came into and a recent windfall of money from her late father’s investments.   Vanessa’s father was a famed New York Attorney who passed away in 2005.  With these investments she is more financially positioned to cut ties with Trump Jr.

This week, the Trumps reached a framework for settling the custody aspects of their case.   New York State Supreme Court Justice Katz congratulated the couple on working things out with the custody agreement and for protecting the children from what could be an invasive legal process.  For those lawyers or legal aficionados who noticed Katz is a “Supreme Court Justice”, New York’s Supreme Court is the same level as Nevada’s district courts.   This case is not yet in the state Supreme Court, or isn’t getting special treatment, just in the New York they call the lower courts Supreme Court.

Now that custody is settled, or on its way, the next step in the Trump divorce will be for the divorce attorneys to discuss the division of assets, debts, and alimony.   New York is an equitable distribution state while Nevada is a community property state.  In a community property state all assets and debts will be dividing equally.  In an equitable state the assets may be divided fairly and equitably, which doesn’t always mean equal.  The difference can be significant.

In community property states the division, after you take out separate property, is typically equal.  There are facts, at least under Nevada law, where the judge can make an unequal division of assets or debts.  The common reason a court would do this is marital waste.   In equitable states the courts will look first at fairness and equity, not at equal.  Compared to community property states this is flipping the starting point for the judge.

When it comes to alimony (aka spousal support) New York and Nevada are not much different.   Alimony is based on the theory of equalizing incomes or sharing in future income. The factors both states look for are the income and property of both spouses, length of the marriage, age and health of both spouses, present and future income of both spouses.  Although neither state has an absolute spousal support formula, we did build a spousal support calculator based on our experience in being in divorce court over the last 14 years.

After the custody settlement is signed and approved, it is likely the couple’s divorce attorneys will start discussions on the dividing the assets, debts, and alimony.