Donald Trump Jr. & Estranged Wife Arrive to Divorce Court Together — But Split Is Now Contested
Donald Trump Jr. and his estranged wife, Vanessa Trump, arrived to Manhattan Supreme Court in N.Y.C. together on Thursday for their first divorce hearing
Trump Jr. and Vanessa have since maintained a cordial relationship — wishing each other a happy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and spending time together as a family at the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and at the White House for the annual Easter Egg roll in April.
However, their divorce, which was originally listed as uncontested, is now contested, the Associated Press reported. A “contested” divorce means that both parties are not in agreement on all issues — which could include the division of marital assets, child custody and child support payments.
In the Trumps’ case, the issues appear to be financial.
Vanessa Trump and Donald Trump Jr.
According to the Daily Mail, the former couple’s attorneys noted in court that certain financial decisions “have not yet been resolved” but indicated that they would be resolved soon.
Trump Jr.’s lawyer Norman Heller said he expected the “whole matter” to be resolved in the “next several weeks,” Page Six reported.
“We have between us resolved most of the financial issues,” Heller said.
“That financial issue explains why the formerly ‘uncontested’ divorce is now ‘contested,’ ” the Daily Mail said.
In May, Page Six reported that Vanessa had inherited millions of dollars from her late father’s investment in Rao’s Speciality Foods, a business that sells the restaurant’s famous marinara sauce.
Page Six said that an “emboldened” Vanessa decided to divorce her husband of 12 years after being assured of her “family’s newfound financial security.”
The New York Daily News reported in May that Trump Jr. was trying to find out exactly how much money his estranged wife had in the bank.
But a top N.Y.C. divorce attorney, Raoul Felder, told PEOPLE in June that Vanessa’s marinara-sauce windfall was safe from Trump Jr. in the estranged couple’s divorce proceedings.
“He cannot” touch it, said Felder, who is not affiliated with the case. “New York State, like many states, makes a division between separate property and marital property. It’s only marital property that can be divided.”
“The statute says that third-party gifts, or money you get from third parties directly, is not included in a marital pot,” Felder added. “So she is absolutely secure.”
Despite their unresolved issues, the couple were pictured sharing a smile in court on Thursday at the end of the proceedings. Trump Jr. also placed his hand on Vanessa’s back as they exited the courtroom, flanked by NYPD officers and Secret Service.
During Thursday’s court hearing, Judge Michael Katz praised the Trumps for coming to an agreement on custody of their children, and working to resolve lingering financial issues, according to Page Six.
“I very much would like to commend both of you for working out whatever differences you may have had regarding those issues and committing to co-parenting with each other,” Katz said. “You have prioritized your children and taken steps to shield them from what could have been an invasive litigation process. Not everyone is able to do that.”
The judge scheduled a compliance conference for November.
The court hearing comes after Trump Jr. and his new girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, 49, made their first public appearance in Washington this week, attending the Turning Point High School Leadership Summit, where they held hands as they addressed the crowd.
In June, Vanessa gave her blessing to her husband’s new relationship — publicly confirming it on Twitter before even they did.
Vanessa defended the new couple on Twitter against what she described as an “attack” by the New York Daily News.
“The lengths people will go to attack a woman simply because she’s dating Don,” Vanessa tweeted. “We’ve been separated for over 9 months and respect each other’s decisions & privacy. We’ll focus on raising our great kids. Would be nice if the press did the same rather than obsess over our pvt lives!”