The End Of Alimony

The American divorce is undergoing its biggest change in decades. Call it the revenge of the second wives

Alessandra Petlin for TIME

Jan Kilillea gets permanent alimony from her husband and works as a nanny.

Correction Appended: May 16, 2013

Debbie Leff Israel has a math problem. Like so many math problems, it's also a romantic problem. In 2009, Leff Israel, a divorced math professor, connected on Facebook with a friend from high school whom she hadn't seen in 26 years. "We fell in love," she says. John Kelapire, an amiable engineer for a cruise-ship company, proposed to her, she says, in 2010, after his divorce from his wife was final.

But there was a hitch. Kelapire pays about a third of his take-home pay to his ex-wife and will until one of them dies....

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