Not only did Donald Trump’s lawyer’s payment of hush money to a porn star who allegedly had an affair with Donald break election laws, the president could be in deep trouble with his wife.
If the desire to majorly screw her hubby over strikes, Melania could go after half the reported $130,000 payment by Donald's personal lawyer Michael Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels. The Wall Street Journal had reported that the porn star (real name Stephanie Clifford), got the hush money right before the 2016 election. As a result, she agreed to keep quiet about any alleged sexual relationship with Donald — who was married to Melania at the time.
So if the First Lady really wanted to cause some problems, she certainly could. Since spouses in many states, including New York and California, require spouses to have a transparent fiduciary duty to one another, Donald would have to A- come clean about his infidelity, and B- fork over half the cash he paid Stormy to Melania, since he violated his fiduciary duties to her. She could also use it in a child custody issue down the line if she can show that Donald’s behavior would impact bringing up their son.
“If she wanted to hang out all their dirty laundry,” Steven Yoda, top attorney at family law firm Walzer Melcher LLP.
“Donald and Melania would be subject to community property law, which is every dollar I make is half your partners, anything we earn is for the benefit of both of us,” Yoda says, “In that case, the money Donald earned to pay off this porn star was money he earned through his business, of his millions earned, he spent $130,000 to hush her up. That’s arguably community property.”
Peter Walzer adds that at least under California law, Melania could claim that half of that money is hers — and Donald would also have to admit what exactly he was paying for.
“In a divorce cases she could try to recoup that money or an offset of some kind because what many people do not know is that when you get married a couple becomes legal fiduciaries of one another- two people now owe each other the highest duty of honesty and transparency, you can’t hide things from the other person,” Walzer says. “She could prove that’s how he spent the money. In a divorce case, couples must be open and honest about the finances.”
He explains that if Melania felt like it (or her husband pissed her off enough) she could, during the course of the investigation, subpoena and take depositions and out him for being unfaithful.
“In a divorce case there is no hiding money, you can probe and dig and dig,” Walzer says. “If they were to get divorced, if she wanted to embarrass him she could.”
It’s unlikely she would, putting the concerns of the couple’s shared son Barron first. But she could. Just saying.
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