As the 2016 presidential elections rapidly approach and we wonder who will be the next Commander-In-Chief, one (or at least one who is a divorce lawyer) might wonder what the relationship has been between politics, higher office, and dissolution of marriage. Here are a few interesting facts about politics and divorce:
1. It can spawn a new religion.
Henry VIII left his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, for Anne Boleyn. Rome would not allow him to annul his first marriage, but he married Anne anyway, paving the way for him to become the supreme leader of the Church of England. Things did not turn out so great for Anne: she was the second of his eventual six wives, and the first whom he had executed.
2. We have only had one divorced president.
Ronald Reagan is the only President of the United States to ever have been divorced. He was married for 9 years to Jane Wyman, with the marriage ending in 1949. He did not become president until 1981. No U.S. President has ever been divorced while in office.
3. Other countries' leaders have divorced while in office.
The list includes recent divorcees Silvio Berlusconi (divorced while Prime Minister of Italy); Hugo Chavez (divorced from his second wife while President of Venezuela); and Nicolas Sarkozy (divorced while President of France).
4. Nelson Rockefeller's divorce cost him the Republican presidential nomination.
While there were certainly other factors that caused the Republicans to name Barry Goldwater as their candidate for the 1964 elections, the fact that Rockefeller was divorced was viewed so negatively that it was a death knell to his ambition for higher office.
5. New York's legislature once had to grant divorces.
Until 1787, when the power to grant divorces was transferred to the Court of Chancery, only the New York state legislature could give a divorce, and each case was decided individually to determine if the person seeking to dissolve their marriage should be permitted to do so.
While divorce is difficult and painful, most of our clients will never have to suffer the compounded stress of going through a dissolution of marriage while the world of politics looks on. It is the divorce attorney's job not only to ensure that every client feels that he or she is important and receiving the best possible representation, but that we work for the best possible outcome for all parties involved. The attorneys at Karp & Weiss strive to reach this goal.