National News

Todd Palin appears to have filed for divorce from Sarah Palin

The news arrives a decade after rumors of marital trouble between the Palins first spread.

In this June 28, 2011, file photo, Sarah and Todd Palin make their way to the Pella Opera House for the premiere of "The Undefeated." Andrea Melendez/The Des Moines Register via AP

The Washington Post

Todd Palin appears to have filed a document suggesting he wants a divorce from Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor who came to nationwide prominence as the running mate of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain in 2008, the Associated Press reported Monday.

The AP story follows local reports, including an article published earlier in the day by the Anchorage Daily News. The newspaper reported that Alaska’s former first gentleman asked, in a document filed Friday in Anchorage Superior Court, that the couple’s 31-year union be dissolved. The paper reported that Todd Palin cited “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.” (In Alaska, “incompatibility of temperament” is frequently cited as a no-fault grounds for divorce, much like “irreconcilable differences.”)


The news arrives a decade after rumors of marital trouble between the Palins first spread, with a representative referring to the reports as “all lies and fabrications.” The Palins, both 55, married in 1988 and have five children. According to the Alaskan blogger who first reported the Friday filing, the document does not include the couple’s full names, instead referring to them by their initials: TMP and SLP. The divorce filing also reportedly lists the birth date of their only minor child, Trig, born in 2008.

Though the McCain-Palin ticket lost in 2008, she and her family continued to make headlines in the years that followed. The couple’s eldest daughter, Bristol, revealed her own pregnancy, at 17, on the first day of the 2008 Republican National Convention. Now 28, she has since starred on several reality shows – including, most recently, MTV’s “Teen Mom” franchise. Her parents have also taken reality-show turns: After her failed VP bid, Palin starred in the TLC series “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” and, later, Sportsman Channel’s “Amazing America With Sarah Palin.” Todd Palin competed on NBC’s “Stars and Stripes” in 2012.

In 2014, several members of the family were involved in a drunken brawl at an Anchorage house party that, per two stories by The Washington Post, left Todd Palin with a bloody nose and Track, Todd and Sarah’s oldest child, shirtless and “belligerent.”


Track told police that the fight started after a few other men were rude to his sisters Willow and Bristol, the latter of whom was accused of punching the homeowner’s face repeatedly.

No charges were filed in the Anchorage brawl, but the incident set precedent for legal issues the family would later face. Track, an Iraq combat veteran, was arrested on domestic violence charges three times between 2016 and 2018.

The first incident took place in January 2016 – a day before Sarah Palin was set to endorse then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump – when Track’s girlfriend called the police to report that he had punched her in the face and that he had a firearm.

Almost two years later, Track was again arrested after an incident at his parents’s home, during which he hit his father repeatedly in the head. Sarah Palin called the police, saying her son was “freaking out and on some type of medication.” In September 2018, Track was charged with fourth-degree assault after state troopers found that he had assaulted an unnamed “female acquaintance.”