Today is Presidents’ Day, designated for this time of year based on the birthdays of Presidents Washington and Lincoln. For many of you this means enjoying a day off of work, with spending some time reflecting our chief executives being optional. For me, this holiday started some brainstorming on the presidents and their involvement in issues of family law.
Out of the forty-three men who have served as president, did you know that Ronald Reagan is the only one to have gone through a divorce? He married actress Jane Wyman in 1940 and she filed for divorce eight years and three children later (one of the children, a daughter, lived only one day). In 1949, Ronald Reagan met Nancy Davis and their marriage lasted more than fifty years until his death in 2004.
In a political sex scandal more than a century before John Edwards or Anthony Weiner, as a presidential candidate Grover Cleveland was accused of fathering an illegitimate child ten years earlier. He admitted to a relationship with the woman in question, Maria Crofts Halpin, and that he had been paying her child support. While Ms. Halpin was involved with several men during her time with President Cleveland, he is the one who assumed responsibility.
If we look back even further in presidential history, we find the complicated love story of Andrew and Rachel Jackson. Rachel was previously married to a man named Lewis Robards. Rachel claims that Lewis kicked her out of their home, while Lewis contends she abandoned him. Rachel moved in with her mother and then met Andrew Jackson. The chronology of events that follow still remain unclear to this day. It appears Rachel may have married Andrew while still married to her first husband, which led to cries of bigamy on the presidential campaign trail.
While today’s tabloids sensationalize the lives of politicians for our constant reading and viewing, the domestic difficulties they face are nothing new. Divorce, child support and adultery are difficult topics with which the leaders of this nation have struggled since its founding.
What these presidents didn’t have was the experience with one of the excellent family law attorneys of Bertolino LLP. But you do! If you are considering a divorce, need to seek child support from the father of your child, are considering an adoption or have any other concerns regarding a family law issue, please give us a call today!

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