Now That We Have A National Marriage Policy, We Need A National Divorce Policy

I just received the following tragic letter from a lady in Mississippi. Just as it was time to set federal law with respect to gay marriage, it’s time to establish nationwide, uniform standards for the provision of alimony in divorce settlements.  Here is a column I wrote on this subject a year ago for PBS NewsHour.


Dear Mr. Kotlikoff,

It is time for a national policy on divorce and alimony.  The next time you write an article on divorce and alimony you need to look at a few cases in Mississippi. (ilsley v ilsley) Currently the trend in Mississippi – which probably will not surprise you – is to throw long time stay at home mom’s into financial despair.  I was married for 35 years supported my ex- career, there was a disparity in income of $366,000.00 a year for my ex and me at 0.  The Judge awarded alimony based on judicial discretion in the amount of 0. His judicial discretion was based on a scenario that was not testified in court nor did the Judge support his employment scenario for me with one document. web site referral or expert testimony. The ruling as so full of errors of both fact and math it should be an example of how NOT to decide a gray divorce. I was close to 60 and the Judge told me to go back to university to earn a CPA.  I was not the only victim of judicial discretion of the absurd in Mississippi.  Further the high court of Mississippi blindly affirmed the ruling on judicial discretion without investigating one of the issues raises on appeal.  I may sound like a disgruntled ex- wife .  You are right, I am.  I was perfectly capable of having a career but it was agreed decades before the divorce that I would stay home with the children while he pursued a career.  I feel as if the rules changed at the 2 minute warning.  I just didn’t have time to financially recover.  So please promote NATIONAL CHANGES to alimony.  I will be dependent on that state or the government because I will be destitute because of a misogynist judge. My ex will become a millionaire, collect at the maximum amount of SS when he retires.  I will collect about 1/3 of what he collects, which is  poverty level Although I had lived a comfortable life for 35 years, sacrificed a career for his career.  This is an tragedy were the children will suffer.

 I have asked my state Senator for help, but as happens in states such as Mississippi they are more interested in passing laws on forbidding Shiria Law, forbidding sanctuary cities and banning LGBT people from using the rest room rather then helping their citizens receiving fair treatment in CIVIL court.  The use of Judicial Discretion in alimony needs to be replaced with a  legislated formula.

Please help us in Mississippi.


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