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Spousal Maintenance can be broken down into several categories which include the following:
If you and your spouse can agree on an amount of Spousal Maintenance and the duration of the payments, a court will likely adopt the amount that is agreed upon. However, if you and your spouse disagree about Spousal Maintenance, the court will decide the amount and duration based upon various factors. In Alaska, courts look at the following factors when deciding whether or not to award Spousal Maintenance:
It does not matter who wants the divorce. It does not matter who was at fault. For example, the court is not going to award Spousal Maintenance just because the other spouse was unfaithful. The court will not consider fault when deciding upon maintenance, but will look at the factors listed above in the previous question.
Spousal Maintenance is the payment from one spouse to another spouse either on a temporary or permanent basis. Many people refer to it as “Alimony”, but they are one and the same. Spousal Maintenance is intended to allow a spouse to maintain the same type of lifestyle or standard of living that he/she had during the marriage. Typically, in marriages in which both spouses work, and earn fairly comparable incomes, Spousal Maintenance will not be an issue. Under such a scenario, it is unlikely the court will award Spousal Maintenance. On the other hand, a stay at home mom, with no marketable skills, who worked to put her husband through a professional career and later stayed at home to raise the children, while her husband advanced his career will be a good candidate for Spousal Maintenance. Each case has to be evaluated on an individual basis, as there are no guarantees. The court looks at a variety of factors.
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Under Alaska law, if either party experiences a change of circumstances that are so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of the order requiring Spousal Maintenance unconscionable, the court can amend the maintenance award or discontinue it altogether. Unfortunately, this decision is made on a case by case basis, and there is no definite rule as to when such a change of circumstances is so significant as to trigger an amendment of the order requiring the payment of Spousal Maintenance.
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