When an Alaska spouse determines that he or she would rather end the relationship than remain in an unhappy marriage, decisions might be made that change the lives of everyone in the household. If the spouse files for divorce, a settlement agreement is typically negotiated with his or her ex. Property division proceedings are typically part of this process, and there are several key guidelines in this state.
Alaska use equitable distribution property guidelines
Every state has its own rules as to how spouses should divide marital property in a divorce. Most states use equitable division guidelines, which means that the court will determine a fair, although not necessarily equal split of all marital assets. In Alaska, there is another guideline that often comes into play, which is that a set of spouses may choose to divide their marital property under community property rules.
Community property rules use a 50/50 split
There are nine states that operate under community property rules in divorce. With this process, any asset, property or liability acquired during marriage is equally split in divorce. In Alaska, spouses have a unique opportunity to agree to use these guidelines rather than the equitable rules that are the norm in this state. There are certain types of assets or property that are considered separately owned, which are, therefore, not subject to division in a divorce. Such assets might include an inheritance or compensation that was awarded by a court of law for damages in a personal injury claim.
Achieving a fair settlement is a top priority
Especially if a pair of spouses also have children, it is critical that they resolve any difference of opinion they might have about divorce-related issues, such as child custody or property division. It is helpful to speak with an experienced family law attorney before heading to court. Such an attorney is well-versed in the laws of this state and can recommend courses of action to help protect a client’s interests and to settle a divorce without becoming entangled in a legal battle.