If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse in Alaska, it is important for you to anticipate different outcomes. You may have certain beliefs and expectations about the process, but if you do not plan your separation carefully, you could end up with a settlement skewed towards your ex-partner.
Unless you have a community property agreement, community trust, prenuptial or postnuptial contract, property acquired before the marriage can remain separate and out of your spouse’s reach. Alaska is an equitable distribution state. When it is time to determine the division of assets, the judge must use his or her discretion to give you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse what the judge believes is fair. This can lead to you or your spouse receiving an unequal share of certain assets. Here is a brief overview of how you can make your post-divorce situation more secure.
Fair is not always equal
What you think is fair is not what your spouse or the law deems fair. The biggest tool you have is negotiation. Use it to your advantage. No matter how tired and frustrated you may feel, do not make rash decisions. Do not focus all of your energy on stonewalling your spouse. It is more beneficial for you to work together and negotiate a fair settlement. The more you and your partner can work things out and agree on things, the less you will need to get the courts involved.
Do not overlook the long-term benefits
A potential settlement may look great when you consider its short-term impact, but it could prove to be very disadvantageous for you in the long run. Make sure you consider the short and long-term ramifications before you agree to anything. For example, if you want to keep the marital home, make sure you can afford the maintenance and mortgage payments in the future.
Carefully planning your exit before you file for divorce can make it easier for you to negotiate a settlement that is most beneficial to your needs. Avoid assumptions and consider working with a financial expert and attorney to protect your assets.