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News organizations seek unsealing of Trump's divorce records

When couples go through a divorce, they may ask the court to seal their divorce records. If one or both of the spouses is well-known in the community, they may want to avoid having the details of their personal lives made known. They may also want to help ensure that their children aren't able to learn what may be unpleasant details about their parents' marriage when they get older.

When Donald and Ivana Trump divorced in 1990, they had their divorce records sealed. Now that Mr. Trump is running for president, two news organizations are trying to get those records unsealed. The New York Times Co. and Gannett Co. (which owns USA Today) have made that request to the New York Supreme Court.

In their request, the organizations stated that the divorce is "directly relevant to the issues being debated in the hotly contested presidential campaign" and "the credibility and character of a person [voters] must soon decide whether to elect as their president."

What is known is that the ground for the divorce was "cruel and inhuman treatment." This can involve mental as well as physical "cruelty." Another reason the media organizations are asking to see the records is because of rumors throughout Trump's campaign that he sexually assaulted Ivana during their marriage. They say that making the records public will "resolve an ongoing campaign controversy."

Ivana has never confirmed those rumors. In fact, she says that she endorses her ex-husband's candidacy and that they are still close friends.

Gannett and the New York Times also note in their request that the records will shed light on the issue of Trump's "marital fidelity." Fidelity in both candidates' marriages has become one of the personal issues that has made it into the hotly-contested election.

While most New Yorkers don't have to worry about the details of a divorce making their way into the media around the world, they still have a right to ask that their divorce records be sealed and remain so. Your New York family law attorney can help you make that request to the court and, if necessary, help you work to keep the records sealed.

Source: USA Today, "Gannett and N.Y. Times ask court to unseal 1990 Trump divorce records," Paul Singer, Aug. 12, 2016

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