President Trump and Melania's divorce: Are the rumors valid or just another fantasy?

The fate of the first couple of the United States is under close scrutiny ever since news broke that President Donald Trump may have paid hush money to a pornstar to keep their affair secret.

Following reports of Trump's alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, First Lady Melania Trump went on an unplanned trip to Palm Beach County while the president was attending an economic forum in Davos, Switzerland last week.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump return to the White House following a weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago, on the South Lawn of the White House on January 15, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Melana traveled to Palm Beach International Airport on an aircraft called the "Executive One Foxtrot,", which is a smaller than the presidential Air Force One. 

(L to R) First lady Melania Trump and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a Hanukkah Reception in the East Room of the White House, December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rumours about a possible divorce between Melania and Trump started swirling ever since the first lady visited Mar-a-Lago last weekend instead of accompanying President Trump on his international visit.

CBS News also reported that Melania and Trump did not travel together to the president's first State Of the Union address on Tuesday. 

Google Trends says that the phrases "Melania Trump filed for divorce" and "Melania Trump Marriage" in queries have risen 60 percent after the news came out.

The seemingly uncertain future for the first couple brings to mind an unprecedented scenario: If Melania decides to separate from Trump, she would be the first woman to divorce a president while he was still in office.  

President Donald Trump and the first lady Melania Trump attend the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting held by the National Park Service at the White House Ellipse in Washington, D.C., November 30, 2017.  (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

Having said that, Trump, however, would not be the first divorced president to be in office in that scenario. Former President Ronald Reagan was divorced as well, but the separation did not take place while he was in office.

President Donald Trump and U.S. First Lady Melania Trump arrive at Osan Air Baseon November 7, 2017 in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. (Photo by Woohae Cho/Getty Images)

Looking back at the history of US presidents, there have been many who were unmarried at the time they took office. For example, former President James Buchanan never married.

Then there were some presidents who tied the knot after taking office. According to White House history, these include Grover Cleveland, John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson. 

In some unusual cases, presidents did not have their wives as their first lady. For instance, James Buchanan, as he was unmarried, gave the title of United States first lady to his niece, Harriet Lane.

If we are to go by that precedent, it is quite possible that if Melania decides to part ways with Trump, he would place his daughter Ivanka Trump in her shoes as the first lady. Of course, the honor could be bestowed on any other woman as well. 

Michigan law firm Schmidt & Long stated that there is no confusion over whether or not a president, while in office, can be taken to court for divorce. 

First lady Melania Trump is kissed by her husband Donald Trump, after she spoke at an event highlighting the opioid crisis in the U.S. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A renowned divorce lawyer has predicted that if Melania were to take the decision to leave Trump, a significant "post-nup" compensation might be granted to her so that she stays with Trump through his term in office.

President Donald Trump (L) and first lady Melania Trump pose for photographs with Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) and the children he was accompanying while hosting Halloween at the White House on the South Lawn October 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Washingtonian spoke to Cheryl New, one of the top divorce lawyers in Washington, D.C. She said that the proceedings could turn ugly, but also asserted that Melania would fight back if she wanted to.

President Donald Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One on November 8, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)

“[Trump] would not be able to do this in a way that would be quiet. I don’t think he’s constitutionally capable of that. He’s so cocksure that he would put this out there for everybody to see. I think he underestimates Melania totally. She is a chess player. He is a checkers player.”

She added, “If he wants to keep her around for the remainder of his presidency, she could say ‘you want me to be quiet? We need to do a little postnup.’ ” 

Despite the rumors, the Trumps, who displayed strength and resilience as a couple throughout the presidential campaign, may not really be headed for splitsville.

Both believe strongly in the institution of marriage and have consistently denied rumors about any trouble in their matrimonial paradise.

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Kunal Dey


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