Can you imagine your divorce record being open to the public? In many states, divorce files are confidential. But when you decide to run for President of the United States, or many other public offices, the public demands to know more about you. That’s why the parent company of the nationwide newspaper USA Today has asked a New York court to open Donald and Ivana Trump’s divorce file.
Here’s the backstory: Donald and Ivana were divorced in 1990 due to “cruel and inhuman treatment.” A 1993 book “reported that Ivana Trump told friends that her husband had ‘raped’ her during a fit of rage.” Despite this report, the former Mrs. Trump later “issued a statement saying her words should not be ‘interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.’” In fact, Ivana Trump has recently stated that the two are close friends, and she has specifically endorsed Mr. Trump’s presidential candidacy.
The theories behind the requested release are that the public has a right to know whether Mr. Trump is credible—that is, whether he has told the truth about the matter—and that the voting public should know how Trump has treated women in the past, as an indicator of his current political position.
It would seem that Mr. Trump has placed issues such as these into the public forum, both by running for President and also by challenging Mrs. Clinton’s responses to Mr. Clinton’s alleged infidelity.
Gannett Company, which owns both USA Today and the New York Times, has asked that the court file be released because of these “special circumstances.” The company also seeks to make discovery in the divorce case public, including items such as the former Mrs. Trump’s deposition, in which she made the allegation of sexual assault.
In New Mexico, courts can issue orders protecting the confidentiality of most of a divorce file. The final order must, by law, be made public.
When you need solid advice about a New Mexico family law issue, the Lightning Legal Group would be honored to help. We are experienced in a broad range of family law issues, and we work hard to get our clients fair results. Please contact us at (505) 247-2390 for a free consultation.