When the judge orders a divorce, it is possible that he will order one of the spouses to make temporary alimony or alimony payments. Alimony is financial assistance provided from one spouse to the other after the end of the marriage, and it is separate from any payments made for child support due to the nature of the child custody agreement. Alimony is designed to preserve the economic situation of both parties as it existed during the marriage.
How Do You Qualify for Alimony?
In Alaska, there are two types of alimony:
- Rehabilitative Alimony; and
- Reorientation Alimony.
Rehabilitative support is meant to pay for training or education to allow the spouse to gain new or better employment. To qualify for rehabilitative support, you must tell the court what your work goal is and how the school or training program will help meet this goal.
Reorientation support is money that helps a spouse get used to living with less money than when married. The judge may award reorientation support for a period of a year or less if the division of marital property does not meet one spouse’s needs (e.g. one spouse may receive payments while waiting to sell the marital house).
How Much Alimony Can You Receive?
Alimony in Alaska can either be one lump sum payment or a temporary series of payments. There is no set formula or limit for awarding alimony. Unless agreed to by the parties, the judge will decide how much alimony should be paid according to the following factors:
- The length of the marriage
- How much money each spouse makes
- The age and health of the spouses
- How long you went to school
- What are your work skills
- How much work experience you have
- If you worked during the marriage
- If you took care of kids
- If you unreasonably used up marital money
- How the property and debt is divided
- Any other relevant factors
While every case is different based on the factors listed above, but alimony awards in the United States can be quite high with some awards exceeding 1.3 million.
How Long Does Alimony Last?
Generally, alimony payments are temporary and are determined by the judge. However, alimony payments will end if either spouse dies, or if the spouse receiving payments remarries or chooses to cohabitate with another.
How Do You Petition for Alimony?
In Alaska, you must ask for alimony in the Divorce Complaint. This should be done under the section entitled Request for Relief. Alimony is awarded at the end of the divorce proceeding, however, if you would like to receive alimony during the proceeding you must also file a Motion Asking for “Interim Alimony.” If you don’t make a request for alimony at the beginning of the divorce process you may lose your ability to receive it permanently.
Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?
Divorce actions tend to be some of the most contentious legal cases and alimony awards can be quite significant. It is important to have a skilled attorney to advocate for you in this process. If you are looking for an attorney to help you with your alimony related issues, then contact a local Alaska family lawyer today.