During a marriage, spouses manage their finances and raise their children according to their personal values and family traditions.
Unless one or both of them decide to end the marriage, it is unlikely that they will become familiar with Alaska divorce law. However, if you are reading this post, you are probably interested in learning about the legal framework that guides family lawyers in representing divorce clients.
The Basics of Alaska Divorce Law and Property Division
A divorce case can be divided into property, custody and support issues.
The process of dividing property in a divorce case is referred to as “equitable distribution.” Under Alaska law, all property and debts spouses acquire during marriage are subject to division when they divorce.
In the case of property, it does not matter how it is titled or whether only one spouse’s earnings were used to purchase the property. If the property was acquired while the spouses were married and before they permanently separated, it is subject to division when they divorce.
What Happens to Debts Acquired During the Marriage?
If a debt was acquired while the spouses were married, the balance of the debt at the time the spouses permanently separate will be included in the list of property and liabilities. This all has to be allocated between the spouses.
There are a couple of exceptions to this general rule, including property acquired by gift or inheritance, but depending on how the spouses handled this property during the marriage, the “immunity” generally afforded property acquired by gift or inheritance may be lost.
If you have gifted or inherited property, you should discuss it with your divorce attorney. Your lawyer will be able to explain how gifted or inherited property will be treated in your case.
Posted in: Divorce