Melania Trump could receive as much as $68 million in a divorce settlement should she choose to end her marriage with the US President, according to a legal expert.
The two have been married for 15 years and have one child together, 14 year old Barron Trump. However their marriage has been in the spotlight since incumbent President Donald Trump lost the election.
“Melania is counting every minute until he is out of office and she can divorce,” former White House Aide Omarosa Manigault Newman reportedly said.
“If Melania were to try to pull the ultimate humiliation and leave while he's in office, he would find a way to punish her.”
And should the two divorce, Melania could receive a settlement of as much as US$50 million (AU$68 million), Berkman Bottger Newman & Rodd managing partner Jacqueline Newman said in an interview with Town and Country.
Speaking in 2018, she said that the settlement would hinge in a big way on Barron.
“Given what I’ve read in the tabloids, it doesn’t seem as if there’s going to be much question as to who the primary caretaker is. My guess is that she would get primary custodial rights and he would get access whenever he happens to be in town,” Newman said.
Newman said that in this case, she would likely get around US$50 million.
“While it’s definitely a lot of money, in New York City, for what she’s used to, she wouldn’t be able to replicate what she has now. He probably had a good sense of what kind of lifestyle they’d be living, so I would imagine the payout would be fairly generous.”
In Trump’s previous two marriages, the settlements were generally meted out according to the couples’ prenuptial agreements.
His second wife, Marla Maples (married 1993 - 1999), was reportedly given a pay-out of US$2 million after contesting the prenuptial, while his first wife, Ivana Trump (married 1977 - 1992), reportedly received US$14 million, a mansion in Connecticut, a New York apartment and access to Mar-a-Lago once a year, after also contesting the pre-nup.
According to Mary Jordan, author of The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump, Melania has acted to ensure Barron would receive the same benefits as Trump’s children for his previous marriages.
Washington Post reporter Jordan said Melania renegotiated her pre-nup prior to joining Trump in the White House after his election. At the time, she had been married to the businessman for longer than any of his previous wives, who also weren’t expected to carry out the duties of a First Lady.
"She wanted proof in writing that when it came to financial opportunities and inheritance, Barron would be treated as more of an equal to Trump's oldest three children," Jordan wrote.
However, any divorce would also likely come with some form of a non-disclosure agreement, after Marla Maples signed a strict deal forbidding she disclose any information about their marriage.
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