Here are some experiences and solutions:
I have a Mercedes-Benz S500 and it was stuck in park and a MB tech told me to pump the break while hammering the shifter with a mallet and yanking the shifter down (all at the same time). I had my Dad continuously press the break while I hammered and yanked that blasted shifter down to Drive. As odd as that sounds, it works. But this is just temporary.
Check your fuses, i have had this happen to me, also, turn ignition key to on, but do not start. then with foot on brake pedal move transmission to neutral. then start engine.this will usually allow you to then use your gears and drive this will also usually fix the problem of being stuck in park.
Make sure you press the brake down, and fairly hard. You must usually step on the brake in order to shift out of park. I just picked up an automatic after my stick vehicle and am still getting used to this.
I had the same problem. But it was either trying to put my car into gear or into park. The solution: I had to get a new gear cable.
I had a similar problem. I couldn't take my car out of park. The problem was a brake switch that is connected to the brake pedal. You normally step on the brake to place the car in gear. If the switch goes out and you step on the brake the trans will not engage. Don't know if this is same situation with your car.
You may not have any problem at all. Your wife might have put the car in park and let the car roll before engaging the hand brake. If your car rolled while in park and the weight of the car leaned on the parking brake you may need to push the car a little bit before it can get out of park. depending on the car the push may need to be a little or a lot. Next time follow this as a parking routine: reverse or drive into parking spot, stop, with foot still on the brake pedal put car in park and engage hand brake fully so that car doesn't roll. Remove foot from brake pedal. This should stop that problem.
On my 1994 Toyota Corolla, when I had this problem and couldn't get the gear shift to budge, the tow truck driver showed me an override switch, which was located above the gear shift under a plastic tab. ( You need something like a key or screwdriver to depress it, but it gets you out of park and I was able to drive to the garage to get the "brake light service switch" fixed. It's a temporary fix, but it works!
this all depends on what make of car and year as well it could be a fuse, to the relay that sits under the break petal always by the manual for the car you own at like discount autos they have many easy useful charts inside with a simple useful trouble shooting guide i have one for two of my for cars i am still searching for my Buick rivi. book cant find the one i want but you must go by the working manual first to get an understanding of what your doing with a car
Shortly after submitting a similar question to this one, I went out to my car and started messing around with the fuses and tran cable. It ended up being the tran cable shorting out from the cold. I detached the cable and reattached it and my car went into gear. So in my case it was the tran cable that was the problem.
I too had the dillema of the clk430 shifter stuck in park. And as odd as it sounds hitting the top of the shifter knob while appling the brake pedal does actually work. I'm sure there is an underlying problem to this but in a tough situation it did work.