Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Ieva Ilves divorce

Photo: Marko Saarm / Sakala

Former Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves and his wife, Ieva Ilves, have terminated their marriage.

«In this pre-Christmas spirit, it is with deep sadness that I have to inform you that our nearly eight years marriage with my husband, Toomas Ilves, has ended. No moment is fitting for such decisions; however, right now, after much thought and respecting Thomas's choice, it is clear to me that in the future, we will each go our own way, taking care of the children's well-being together,» Ieva Ilves said on social media.

«From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful to the people of Estonia, who accepted me so warmly and always received me kindly both in Tallinn and in the countryside. I have always felt at home in Estonia. You have been an inspiration and role model for the digital world. I have learned a lot from you, and I continue to share the experience, especially in the technology sector, further to the world -- currently working in Ukraine,» she said.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Ieva Kupce got married on Jan. 2, 2016.

After the end of the term of office of president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, his wife Ieva Ilves started to receive the monthly allowance of the president's spouse, which totaled 1,058 euros at the time and has since risen to 1,663.64.

Her divorce from Toomas Hendrik Ilves, announced on Thursday, means that she is no longer entitled to it, Postimees reported.

The amount of the allowance for Ieva Ilves changed in April of each year according to the change in the salary of the president. As of April 2023, the size of the monthly allowance paid to Ieva Ilves was 1,663.64 euros.

She did not use any other emoluments relating to the president’s spouse.

Under law, after the end of a president’s mandate, an allowance in the amount of 20 percent of the president’s official salary is paid to the ex-president's spouse until the spouse's death

If Toomas Hendrik Ilves were to marry again now, the new spouse would not be entitled to the allowance. The explanatory memorandum to the bill on official benefits says that this regulation is based on the assumption that it is highly likely that the president will be their spouse's breadwinner after the end of the president's term of office, as it will be more difficult for the spouse to re-enter the labor market after five or 10 years spent as the spouse of the head of state.

It is assumed that a spouse who enters into a marriage with a former head of state after the end of their term of office has not had to be away from the labor market due to their marital status.