Splits

Donald Trump Jr.'s Wife's Divorce Filing Is Perfect Timing — Here's Why

Alimony, scandal and tax laws could all be factors in divorce timing.

Vanessa Trump had a few reasons for filing for divorce when she did, a top divorce lawyer tells Personal Space.

Christopher Melcher, founding partner of Walzer Melcher LLP, a top family law firm in Los Angeles, breaks down why it was smart of Donny Jr.’s soon-to-be ex to do the deed now.

“First, the ability to deduct alimony on taxes goes away next year, so under the laws as it is right now, when a spouse pays alimony or maintenance to their former spouse in a divorce, they get a tax deduction for those payments and they can adjust their tax forms. Say Don can save 40 cents on the dollar, he can’t do that come January 1, 2019.”

Under the tax reform package signed by his dad, President Donald Trump, beginning in 2019 the person who pays alimony can no longer claim that as a tax credit. Divorce attorneys say that’s bad for both the payor and payee and can lead to more haggling over alimony payments. Divorce attorneys also predict we will see a rise in divorces this year as a result.

But, if you file for divorce by Dec. 31, 2018, you can still claim alimony next year.

“This definitely helps the couple financially,” Melcher said, adding, “I assume there’s a premarital agreement.”

He explains that in addition to saving the former couple money, another theory about her wanting to divorce now is because she’ll get a better agreement overall. With all the scandal surrounding the Trump family, they one, want her to keep quiet about family affairs, and two, they don’t want another crisis on their hands.

“She has much more leverage now, maybe even better than the prenup provided,” Melcher explained. “That may not be there later, we don’t know how everything plays out.”

“She would be in the best position to negotiate for better terms for herself this time than maybe later on when her husband’s not in the spotlight. She’s striking while it’s hot.”

Page Six reports another curious angle to the divorce. Vanessa has hired a criminal defense attorney to represent her in the divorce, just as special counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed the president’s family business. New York-based lawyer David Feureisen is representing her, according to paperwork filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday.

Finally, if she was already unhappy in the relationship, this would be the right time for her and could equate to a better settlement, so why not just pull the plug so she can move on emotionally as well as financially?

“He’s away and busier than he’s ever been, so why would there be any need for her to divorce at this point besides good timing? Maybe the embarrassment of the family, her and Don living a separate life, she has a lot of leverage right now.”

Vanessa and Don Jr. claimed in a joint statement that their split after 12 years of marriage was not acrimonious.

“After 12 years of marriage, we have decided to go our separate ways,” the couple said. “We will always have tremendous respect for each other and our families. We have five beautiful children together and they remain our top priority. We ask for your privacy during this time.”

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