Divorce in Alaska

Divorce in Alaska | How to Get a Divorce & Process (Guide) 2023

In Alaska, alimony payments from one spouse to the other are referred to as “spousal support.” The goal of spousal support is to guarantee that both spouses are able to cope with the financial consequences of the divorce.

Spousal support can be requested by either spouse, but the court will only grant it if the asking spouse can show a financial need and the other spouse is able to pay. Following a divorce, it is normal for both spouses to suffer a loss of financial stability, owing to the necessity to sustain two households on the same salary that previously supported one. Nevertheless, if one spouse faces financial difficulty without the other’s assistance, the court is likely to give support.

Hence, when one spouse earns more than the other, the court may order the higher-earner to make financial payments to the lower-earner during the divorce process and occasionally after the divorce is finalized. 

This article will provide you information about alimony in Alaska.

Types Of Spousal Support In Alaska

Temporary, rehabilitative, or spousal reorientation support are the three types of alimony in Alaska.

Parents Name
Wages & Income
Non-Custodial Parent
Custodial Parent

Temporary Spousal Support

When one partner requires monetary assistance during the divorce proceedings, temporary assistance is reasonable. The duration of the trial system might frequently exceed a year. While awaiting the judge’s ultimate separation ruling, temporary assistance guarantees the lower-earning partner may pay for daily expenses.

Rehabilitative Spousal Support

The goal of rehabilitation support is to give the partner who makes less money the monetary means to acquire the knowledge, training, or employment required to support themselves just after separation. A partner who obtains rehabilitation assistance should have a clear job objective and should explain to the judge how the assistance will help them achieve that objective. Rehabilitation assistance typically only lasts about as long as the partner needs to finish school or a training program in order to start a new work.

Reorientation Spousal Support

In situations when one partner needs assistance transitioning to a one-income household, the court retains reorientation support. Reorientation support is often short-term (lasting one year or less) and most prevalent in cases in which the couple’s marital assets are insufficient to cover both partners’ post-divorce financial requirements.

Qualifying Spousal Support

Either partner may ask for spousal support (ask for it in the initial divorce complaint or the answer to the complaint.) However, the judge would only grant maintenance if the asking partner can show that they are in need of money but that the other partner is capable of paying.

The requirement to support two households on the same amount of money that once sustained one makes it usual for both partners to endure a decline in financial situation after just a separation. Nevertheless, the judge is likely to be given maintenance where one partner would suffer financially without assistance from another.

The court will take into consideration the various elements while determining spousal support:

  • How long the marriage has lasted (short-term marriages are less likely to see spousal support awards in divorce).
  • Age and health of each spouse
  • The earning potential of both partners, taking into account their educational backgrounds, training, working experiences, duration of time away from the workforce, and, if appropriate, any joint custody of children throughout the marriage.
  • The state of each parent’s finances, particularly the price and accessibility to health coverage.
  • The behavior of the parties, particularly whether either spouse had unfairly spent down the marital estate.
  • Asset distribution judgments in a separation.
  • Any other aspect the court finds important.

It’s crucial to realize that there really is no set pattern the court can use to assess spousal support and that the court has considerable latitude in deciding on the final amount.

Payment of Spousal Support

Spousal support might be paid in a flat sum, as property, or through recurring payments. The most typical way to pay spousal support is through a regular payment that the judge deducts from the paying spouse’s wages on a regular basis (often monthly).

An income withholding order is frequently included when the court makes a support order. Income withholding orders direct the employer of the paying spouse to pay the recipient spouse the spousal support award instead.

It’s critical to realize that failing to pay spousal support or disobeying income withholding orders could lead to a perjury charge from the judge, which carries fines, penalties, and even a jail sentence.

Because most partners don’t have a sizable financial cushion following their divorce, recurring payments rather than lump sums are more common. To avoid the requirement for an income withholding order and continuous payments, the court may permit a one-time, lump-sum payment of spousal support in situations when the paying spouse is able to do so.

Partners have the chance to enter into a mutually beneficial arrangement regarding spousal support in any divorce. You must sign your agreement or contract if you and your spouse want to handle spousal support (determining the amount, period, and form of payment) even without the assistance of the judge.

Modification and Termination of Spousal Support

The judge may adjust spousal support awards in the future except if the couple stipulated in the agreement that none will pursue such a request in court. However, the asking partner must show the court that the situation has changed materially and significantly since the last support order and that these changes call for reconsideration.

The paying spouse may ask the court to terminate support in the event that the recipient spouse remarries.

Spousal Support and the New Tax Law

Spousal support payments were tax-deductible for the payer for marriages that had been legally consummated before December 31, 2018, and were recorded as income for the receiver. The payments, however, are no longer tax-deductible or reported as income for the recipient spouse if your divorce was finalized on or after January 1, 2019 under alimony in Alaska. 

Therefore, before finalizing a divorce, couples who are thinking about getting a divorce must evaluate the tax implications of the new tax law. Many judges will consider the new law’s tax repercussions while determining the final award. Before you sign your final legal settlement or divorce judgment, it could be advantageous to consult with a tax attorney.


How Long Does Alimony Last?

Alimony is typically a transitory obligation that the judge decides upon. Nevertheless, alimony payments will stop if either spouse passes away, the recipient spouse marries again, or they decide to cohabitate.

How Do You Petition for Alimony?

In Alaska, the divorce complaint must include an alimony request. This should be done under the Request for Relief section. If you want to obtain alimony while the divorce is still pending, you must also submit a Motion Asking for “Interim Alimony.” Alimony is only awarded at the conclusion of the divorce process. You can permanently lose your right to get alimony if you don’t request it at the start of the divorce procedure.

Is there alimony in Alaska?

Many people use the term alimony, but in Alaska, it is known as spousal support. The spousal support is ordered to be paid before or after the legal separation is final or, in some cases, both. But in maximum cases, it is seen that the court orders spousal support for a limited duration or for a specific purpose.

Can a wife get spousal support in Alaska?

Either partner may ask for spousal support (ask for it in the initial divorce complaint or the answer to the complaint.) However, the court will only grant support if the asking spouse can show that they are in need of money and that the other spouse is able to pay.

How is alimony determined in Alaska?

The time period for the payment of spousal support is determined by the judge in the Alaska family court. There are many factors for consideration; the length of the marriage is the most common one. The standard duration is one year. One widely accepted guideline for the length of alimony is that it should last for one year for every three years of marriage (however, this is not always the case in every state or with every judge).

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