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Til Death Do They Pay?24:11

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(Photo: Flickr/Archie McPhee Seattle)
(Photo: Flickr/Archie McPhee Seattle)

Now, on alimony, some aren’t so sure. It’s not Ma and Pa Cleaver splitting up anymore.

Women make up half the work force. Men are being laid off in greater numbers. The whole world of family and marriage has been widely re-engineered.

So who should pay whom — and for how long — when a marriage breaks up? States are rewriting laws. Passions are high. Second wives and distant spouses are weighing in. And the recession has cranked up the pressure all around.

This hour, On Point: Updating alimony.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guest:

Jennifer Levitz, staff writer for The Wall Street Journal. Her recent article "The New Art of Alimony" looked at how "divorce settlements are facing strict new limits as some ex-spouses—primarily men—protest the endless support of a former partner."

Danaya Wright, professor at the University of Floirda Levin School of Law, where she teaches a course in the history of family law.

Douglas Dougherty, practices family law at Dougherty, Hanneman & Snedaker, LCC in Columbus, Ohio.

This program aired on November 3, 2009.