Two Types of Alimony in Alaska

Depending on the circumstances, the court might consider awarding alimony to a disadvantaged spouse.  There are two types of alimony in Alaska: (a) rehabilitative alimony; and (b) reorientation alimony.  Rehabilitative alimony is intended to “minimize the economic impact of divorce on a spouse who exits a marriage with few job skills and little earning capacity.”  It is supposed to provide support for the receiving spouse while they receive job training or other education aimed at improving their ability to become self-supporting.  To obtain an award of rehabilitative alimony, the spouse requesting it has to prove that they intend to apply the alimony toward job training, by presenting a sufficiently detailed course plan and degree goal to justify such an award.  Generally, this type of alimony is only awarded for a short period of time.

Reorientation alimony is alimony that is awarded when the property division award is not sufficient to fairly allocate the economic effect of a divorce such that both spouses’ reasonable needs are met.  It is intended to allow a transition period for the disadvantaged spouse to adjust to the changed financial circumstances following a divorce.

As a general matter, alimony awards of either type are disfavored in Alaska and the courts prefer to address the differing circumstances of two spouses via an unequal division of the marital assets if that is an option.

On behalf of Hughes White Colbo Wilcox & Tervooren, LLC posted on Thursday, May 11, 2017.