The Real Reason Why Sarah Palin Is Getting Divorced

When the late Arizona Sen. John McCain chose former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Republican running mate in the 2008 presidential election, it caused quite the stir. Not only was Sarah young and arguably inexperienced, but her family background was rife with drama. Sarah's then-teenage daughter, Bristol Palin, was pregnant at the time of her nomination, and the aspiring vice president had been embroiled in a nasty feud with her former brother-in-law. But what appeared to remain intact throughout all of this mess? Sarah's marriage to her high school sweetheart, Todd Palin. The couple welcomed their fifth child, a son named Trig, months before McCain chose her as his VP pick, and they always presented a united front. So, it's understandable that some people were shocked in September 2019 when Todd filed for divorce from Sarah. Ouch.

We can't say for certain why these two called it quits after 31 years, but we do have some juicy theories to run by you. From salacious rumors to allegations about the real state of their supposed fairytale romance, there's a lot to dissect regarding the real reason why Sarah Palin is getting divorced. Intrigued yet? Let's dive into this shocking state of affairs.

It's 'impossible' for Todd and Sarah Palin to live together

Todd Palin filed for divorce from Sarah Palin on — of all days — his birthday Sept. 6, 2019. Todd used the couple's initials on the filing in an apparent attempt to conceal identities, but savvy reporters figured it out because their youngest son's birthday was listed in the documents. And speaking of the docs (which were first discovered by blogger Craig Medred two days after they were filed), Todd shared a very curious detail about why he and Sarah won't be able to make it work. Lawyers for the snowmobile hobbyist cited (via CNN) an "incompatibility of temperament ... such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife" in the filing, making it clear the two are seemingly done for good. 

Not only do we find it interesting that Todd filed the papers first, but we're shocked to learn these two are incompatible. The couple appeared to share the same interests and conservative values, after all. But as the old saying goes, you can never know what happens behind closed doors.

Was divorce inevitable for Todd and Sarah Palin?

We might be surprised by Todd and Sarah Palin's impending divorce, but one person close to the family probably isn't — Bristol Palin's ex, Levi Johnston. The avid hunter, who is the father of Bristol's eldest son, Tripp, claimed the two have been at odds since the jump. When asked in a 2009 interview with Radar Online whether the pair had marital issues, Johnston replied, "Oh yeah. There have been from day one." He also suggested these supposed problems were to blame for Sarah resigning from her position as the governor of Alaska in July 2009, a move that sparked great controversy and confusion at the time. We're not sure what problems supposedly existed between Todd and Sarah, but Johnston denied cheating played a role. 

Some might have chalked Johnston's interview up to the ramblings of a bitter ex, but he might have been on the money here. Go figure.

Sarah Palin was blindsided by Todd Palin's divorce filing

Learning via email that your partner is divorcing you is rough. Sarah Palin knows this all too well, as she claims this scenario happened in her split from Todd Palin. "I found out from an email from an attorney saying that she was hired and that was on June 19th, I'll never forget it," Sarah explained on the Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk radio show in November 2019. "Then on Todd's birthday, a week after our 31st anniversary is when he filed, yeah. Oh, yeah. It's not easy to talk about." 

Ouch. If that's true, we have sympathy for Sarah — it's an awful way for a 31-year marriage to end. 

Sarah, who referred to this split as "devastating," also revealed she and Todd are in counseling despite the supposed betrayal. "So it's not over, over," she explained, while also knocking the attorneys who are "getting rich" off of their breakup.

Although we support these two working things out if that's what they want, we can't help but think something is off here. What are we talking about, exactly? Well, Todd reportedly hired the lawyer who represented his ex son-in-law, Dakota Meyer, in his divorce from Bristol Palin. And speaking of Dakota, he fired off an odd message after Todd filed for divorce, sharing a cryptic quote about men protecting women. And lastly, Sarah's countersuit claims she "does not agree with him on all issues in the divorce," which doesn't bode well for a reconciliation. 

That time Sarah Palin 'joked' about divorce

Some members of the public might not remember this gaffe, but Sarah Palin once got caught red-handed "joking" about divorcing her husband, Todd Palin. The drama unfolded in February 2012, when HuffPost and other outlets (per The Atlantic) published an excerpt from a 2007 email chain between Sarah, Todd, and her then-aides Kris Perry and Frank Bailey. "So speaking of .... If we, er, when we get a divorce, does that quell 'conflict of interest' accusations about BP?" she penned, in reference to her "husband's work on the British oil company's North Pipeline," according to HuffPost, to which Bailey replied, "VERY funny."

The email was sent when Sarah had become a household name thanks to her involvement in Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. And it's worth noting the conservative politician was probably making light of then accusations surrounding her role in "deciding the level of taxes on oil profits while her husband worked at BP in a production job," according to The Atlantic. Some members of the public said her involvement was a conflict of interest, a controversy she probably had hoped to quell with humor. Sarah's rep confirmed this theory at the time, telling HuffPost the email was "clearly tongue-in-cheek."

 Although we believe Sarah was just joking here, sometimes humor can be a cover for a person's true thoughts.

Is infidelity to blame for Todd and Sarah Palin's divorce?

Explosive claims about Sarah and Todd Palin's marriage came to light following the publication of Joe McGinniss 2011 bookThe Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin. In the expose, McGinniss accused Palin of having an affair with Miami Heat basketball star, Glen Rice, while she was dating Todd. Rice seemingly confirmed the hookup, telling the author, "We just hit it off. In a short time, we got to know a lot about one another. It was all done in a respectful way, nothing hurried."

But wait — that's not all. McGinniss also accused Sarah of engaging in a long term affair with Todd's former business partner and friend, Brad Hanson, during their marriage. The outdoorsman supposedly ended his business relationship with Hanson after discovering the so-called affair, which McGinniss alleged was Sarah's way to retaliate against Todd's alleged infidelities. Both Sarah and Brad denied any affair.  

Although infidelity is a good reason to end a marriage, it should be noted that Todd has denied all of McGinniss' claims. "This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us to satisfy his creepy obsession with my wife," he said at the time (via The Telegraph). "His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears."

The case of Sarah Palin's missing wedding ring

If you're well-versed in the world of Hollywood, then you probably already know it's a big deal when a married celeb is spotted without their wedding ring. Sarah Palin was no exception to this phenomenon, as news outlets often reported on instances of her sans ring. Sarah came up with an arguably flimsy reason for not wearing the piece of jewelry often, telling People in October 2010: "I very rarely wear jewelry and I have my $35 wedding ring, from Hawaii, that I bought myself on the beach, that I've been wearing for all these years. But even that, I just don't put it on sometimes. So we were getting such a hard time about, 'There's another picture of her not wearing her wedding ring!' and I point out, I'm not wearing any jewelry at all in that picture."

We're going to ignore the fact that Sarah bought her own wedding ring for now so we can focus on her reply. This seems like a case of "the lady doth protest too much," especially since she didn't necessarily have to justify her actions. Many people don't wear their wedding ring while working out, for instance, so we're not sure why this topic got Sarah hot under the collar. It's a tad curious, no? Maybe the couple were experiencing problems during these no wedding ring times. 

The Palins' marriage has been through the ringer

Sarah and Todd Palin's marriage endured many tests throughout the years leading up to Todd's divorce filin, including a few accidents. The first occurred in March 2016, when Todd was involved in a very serious snowmobile wreck. He suffered "broken and fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, a broken shoulder blade, a broken clavicle, and leg injuries" in the near-fatal accident, according to NBC News, all of which landed him in the ICU after undergoing surgery. "He's got a great heart... to go along with two inflated lungs now, metal holding bones together, and stitched up epidermis that makes him appreciate good health more than ever," Sarah Palin wrote in a Facebook post about the incident.

A few years after this scary crash, the Palins' family home was wrecked following a November 2018 earthquake in Alaska. "Our family is intact — house is not... I imagine that's the case for many, many others," Sarah tweeted after the 7.0 magnitude quake. "So thankful to be safe; praying for our state following the earthquake."

Stress can change a marriage, so we wouldn't be surprised if these intense events created some cracks in Todd and Sarah's relationship. You never know, right?

Todd Palin's divorce filing doesn't seem to be about money

Although money can be a big factor for divorce (spousal support, anyone?), this doesn't seem to be the case for Sarah and Todd Palin. Case in point: In court docs, Todd requested their debts and assets be split "equally," according to Radar Online. It seems fair given Todd has been by Sarah's side throughout the duration of her career, and the fact that he has always held steady jobs. According to the couple's 2007 federal income tax filing (via, Todd pulled in over 90K working as an oil field production operator and commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska. 

As of this writing, the couple's combine net worth is an impressive $12 million. And although most of that cash was arguably accrued by Sarah, who has become an author and reality TV star since becoming a high-profile political figure, we find it telling that Todd didn't request child support given that the couple will likely share custody of their young son, Trig. This appears to be a what's fair is fair kind of deal instead of a money grab, suggesting this split wasn't about moolah in the end.

Todd and Sarah Palin's divorce doesn't seem to be about parenting, either

A conflict of interest regarding parenting decisions can often lead to divorce, but it appears that Sarah and Todd Palin have always been on the same page about their kiddos. Case in point: Just months before Todd filed for divorce, the pair was spotted supporting youngest daughter, Piper, at her high school graduation in May 2019. "Everyone needs a Piper Indi Grace in life," Sarah captioned a shot of herself with Todd and their family. "Girl makes the world a better place." Although things were probably rough between the two at this point, it's clear they put their differences aside for the sake of their children. 

Furthermore, Todd requested joint custody of their son, Trig — and if he had wanted to hurt Sarah, as is sometime part of the unfortunate reality of ugly divorces, he could have requested full custody. Call us idealists, but we have a feeling this breakup wasn't about their kids, especially since four out of five are adults.