The term "marital property" refers to assets acquired during the course of the marriage that are shared, excluding items acquired before the marriage and a few other types of property. Ironically, the marital property only becomes an issue when a couple gets divorced and the court must split their belongings.
State marital property laws are typically defined by whether they adhere to community property or equitable division rules. States that recognize community property usually split belongings right down the middle (absent an agreement by the two parties), while equitable division is more nuanced and seeks to provide each party with what they need based on their earning potential and other factors.
This article provides a brief overview of marital property laws in Alaska.
Alaska Marital Property Laws: At a Glance
Alaska is unusual in that it recognizes both equitable property and community property, depending on what the parties agree to. Specifically, courts use an equitable property approach to property division unless the parties have chosen to file a community property agreement (which must be executed before or during the marriage but not after a divorce filing). For the dissolution (divorce) of community property marriages, courts split nearly all possessions acquired during the course of the marriage 50/50.
See the following chart for more information about Alaska marital property laws (including the factors considered by family courts) and FindLaw's Divorce and Property section for additional articles and helpful resources.
|Community Property Recognized?
||Yes; Community Property Act § 34.77.030 (Alaska is a "separate property" state, but couples may opt-in to a community property arrangement)
All property acquired in the following ways is considered individual (or "separate") property:
- By gift or a disposition at death made by a third person to the spouse and not to both spouses;
- In exchange for or with the proceeds of other individual property of the spouse;
- From appreciation or income of the spouse's individual property except to the extent that the income or appreciation is classified as community property;
- By a decree, community property agreement, written consent, or reclassification under AS § 34.77.060(b) designating it as the individual property of the spouse;
- As a recovery for damage to property under AS § 34.77.140, except as specifically provided otherwise in a decree, community property agreement, or written consent; or
- As a recovery for personal injury, except for the amount of the recovery attributable to expenses paid or otherwise satisfied from community property
|Dower and Curtesy
||This has been abolished in the state of Alaska
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Alaska Marital Property Laws: Related Resources
Get Legal Help with a Divorce
Divorce is can be a complex, emotionally-taxing process. A divorce attorney can help assess your case and distinguish between marital and separate property. You can contact an experienced Alaska divorce attorney if you would like legal assistance with a divorce.