Debate Over Ending Lifetime Alimony

Debate Over Ending Lifetime Alimony

Many states are moving to end lifetime alimony -- the biggest change to American divorce in decades. Diane and her guests discuss the purpose of alimony, how it is awarded and whether it should be changed.

Lifetime alimony payments may soon be a relic of the past. A growing number of states are considering laws that would generally end permanent spousal support. Instead, they would create formulas to determine the amount and duration of awards. Some proponents of alimony-law reform are seeking to make the elimination of permanent alimony retroactive. The proposals have triggered heated debate: payers who criticize what they call unjust and outdated awards are pitted against family law attorneys who say the measures are punitive to women. One twist: an increasing number of those seeking reform are women who out-earn their ex-husbands. Diane and her guests discuss the future of alimony.


Cheryl Lynn Hepfer

past president, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Warren Farrell

activist and author of several books, including, "Why Men Earn More and What Women Can Do About It."

Ann Sundt

retired circuit court judge. Headed Montgomery County, Md., family division court from 2002-2008.

Alan Frisher

certified divorce financial analyst and president, Florida Alimony Reform.

Judith McMullen

professor of law, Marquette University Law School.

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