SD needs to reform divorce laws

I believe current South Dakota divorce laws to be archaic and in some cases biased toward women. In this day of almost constant cries for equality, people are being subjected to unjust rulings and divorce property settlements that read like something out of the double-standard handbook.

Homes are forced into sale, 401(k) plans are divided with no regard for who contributed what, parts of pensions are taken by persons who did nothing to earn them, personal and separate savings accounts are divided equally, estates of living relatives are subject to "marital assets' claims; even college savings aren't safe — one spouse can simply "testify" that money wasn't mutually earmarked for children's college expenses. Property settlements are rendered by judges who seem unable to deviate from the outdated practice of dividing everything 50-50, regardless of the circumstances. This habit doesn't require any real thinking or judgment and are permanent. Settlements in regard to garnished individual pensions cannot be re-opened, even if one spouse re-marries into extreme wealth, or wins the lottery.

Finally, "just because it's legal doesn't make it right." Contact your legislators and let's change the law to reflect today's values, not those of the distant past.

Bruce Evans

Rapid City

Sage brothers deserve recognition

The three Sage brothers from Niobrara, Nebraska, all died on the same day in 1969 when the destroyer they were on was cut in half during the Vietnam War. 74 sailors died that night but none are on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. They were only a few miles outside the area called for by the government to qualify them to be on the wall.

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Their parents have long since died but this insult to injury from losing three of their four sons I cannot imagine. Today, news sources split hairs on four soldiers lost because someone said a name was not pronounced correctly. Put yourself in the shoes of the Sage parents when they got the news of losing three sons — ages 19, 21 and 22.

If you do some research, the U.S. prisoners returned from Vietnam were officers, not enlisted. Odd they never captured or returned enlisted soldiers — looks like a double and triple standard in Washington is not alone.

Gary Swensen


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