skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report calls for more consistency in alimony laws

play audio
Play

Monday, January 15, 2024   

Wisconsin is among the states without a defined formula for deciding alimony payments through divorce court proceedings.

A new report says without that predictability, some people might not be getting a fair shake.

Custody X Change, an online firm that helps families navigate divorce, is out with a new analysis of alimony laws across the country.

The company's Managing Editor Shea Drefs said only about a third of states have a formula on the books.

The remaining states, including Wisconsin, essentially give judges discretion to sign off on an amount without a guideline.

Settlement agreements often take shape beforehand, but Drefs said that's not always the case.

"If you can't reach an agreement, because many people who are divorcing aren't on super great terms," said Drefs, "and they go to a judge and they say, 'Okay, you decide what should the alimony amount be.' If that's you going in, you have no idea what to expect."

Drefs said this can be especially problematic for those who can't afford an attorney to guide them through negotiations.

The report also notes that of the states that do have a formula, only 10 have guidelines for how long payments should continue.

The authors recommend implementing policies in states where there are none, and for ongoing assessments of existing formulas.

Drefs said in cases where someone isn't able to secure fair terms, whether that's the person receiving the payments or the other half responsible for them, it can have a lasting effect.

"Having bad alimony arrangements can have an impact on each of the ex-spouses," said Drefs, "on their children - and it can have ripple effects."

That might include housing instability or other forms of financial hardships.

Drefs said while existing guidelines can help a judge make a decision, there's still flexibility to consider traditional factors, such as income levels for both spouses, their ages, and the length of the marriage.




get more stories like this via email

more stories
Several Mississippi correctional facilities offer both short-term (12 weeks) and long-term (six months) alcohol and drug programs with individual and group counseling for treating alcohol and drug addictions. (Wesley JvR/peopleimages.com)

Social Issues

play sound

Mississippi prisons often lack resources to treat people who are incarcerated with substance-use disorders adequately but a nonprofit organization is …


Social Issues

play sound

April is Second Chance Month and many Nebraskans are celebrating passage of a bipartisan voting rights restoration bill and its focus on second chance…

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico saw record enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act this year and is now setting its sights on lowering out-of-pocket costs - those n…


Migrants are put on buses from Texas to other states, often without knowing where they are going. (afishman64/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The future of Senate Bill 4 is still tangled in court challenges. It's the Texas law that would allow police to arrest people for illegally crossing …

Social Issues

play sound

Residents in a rural North Carolina town grappling with economic challenges are getting a pathway to homeownership. In Enfield, the average annual …

Social Issues

play sound

A new poll finds a near 20-year low in the number of voters who say they have a high interest in the 2024 election, with a majority saying they hold …

Social Issues

play sound

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for the country's growing labor movement. Justices will hear oral arguments in Starbucks …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021