Alaska Property Division Factors
In Alaska, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the Superior Court within the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
Alaska is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the Superior Court will take the following approach to dividing the assets; First, it will go through a discovery process to classify which property and debt is to be considered marital. Next, it will assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt. Last, it will distribute the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is deemed by the Superior Court to be fair.
The Superior Court will divide the marital property of the spouses, including retirement benefits, whether joint or separate, acquired only during marriage, in a just manner and without regard to which of the parties is in fault; however, the division of property must fairly allocate the economic effect of dissolution of marriage by being based on consideration of the following factors: (1) the length of the marriage and station in life of the parties during the marriage; (2) the age and health condition of the parties; (3) the earning capacity of the parties, including their educational backgrounds, training, employment skills, work experiences, length of absence from the job market, and custodial responsibilities for children during the marriage; (4) the financial condition of the parties, including the availability and cost of health or medical insurance; (5) the conduct of the parties, including whether there has been unreasonable depletion of marital assets; (6) the desirability of awarding the family home, or the right to live in it for a reasonable period of time, to the party who has primary physical custody of children; (7) the necessities of each party; (8) the time and manner of acquisition of the property in question; and (9) the income-producing capacity of the property and the value of the property at the time of division. (Alaska Dissolution Statutes- Sections: 25-24-160, 25.24.230)
Since Alaska is an "Equitable Distribution" state, all marital property will be divided in an equitable fashion according to the court unless agreed to otherwise by the divorcing spouses. What does "equitable" mean? Equitable can be defined as "what is fair, not necessarily equal." To automatically believe the marital property would be divided 50-50 would be a wrong assumption in any equitable distribution state. You can also read more about Alaska property division in the Alaska state statutes located at: http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/Statutes/.
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