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The process of domestic partnership dissolution in Alaska

There are many reasons why a couple might choose to enter into a domestic partnership rather than marriage. Alaska does not recognize same-sex marriage or common law marriage, though the courts recognize that those who have been in a long-term relationship may need assistance with the division of property or childcare once a relationship like this has ended. The process of domestic partnership dissolution is a bit different from what happens in a traditional divorce, though they encompass similar aspects.

Here in Alaska, one partner is not legally entitled to the other's property if they are part of a domestic partnership. Some couples will file legal documentation that a court can refer to if a partnership is terminated. This could help a couple divide property if they decide to end their relationship. In the absence of such documentation, the property may be considered as solely belonging to the person who legally owns it. The property could be divided evenly or not, depending on several factors that a court will take into consideration.

Courts will also determine whether one person is entitled to receive any payments from the other partner, depending on how long they were in a relationship and the specific financial situation of both parties. If the couple had children together, a court will look at whether one partner will be supporting them and what is in the children's best interests. If a couple wants to make the process a bit smoother, they may be able to determine a plan for parenting before even approaching the court.

Ending a domestic partnership will require a great deal of knowledge, as the laws around this particular type of relationship are not established in Alaska. Those who have further questions about domestic partnership dissolution may benefit from seeking professional assistance. It is important that both parties in the relationship have their concerns heard.

Source: FindLaw, "Ending a Domestic Partnership", , Sept. 5, 2014

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