The Law Office of Maryann E. Foley in Anchorage, Alaska represents clients in family law matters, including divorce and dissolution of marriage. We recognize that going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult and stressful times in a person's life. Furthermore, we understand that each relationship is unique and that no arrangement fits every family's needs. Therefore, as our client, you can be sure that we will take the time to listen to your concerns, identify important issues, and develop a plan aimed toward achieving an optimal resolution for you and your family.
Divorce / Dissolution of Marriage
In order to seek a divorce in Alaska, the filing spouse must be a state resident, or a military service member who has been continuously stationed in Alaska for at least 30 days. The petition for divorce must declare the appropriate grounds for the divorce, which are those that are recognized by the state and can be proven in court. We guide clients through the entire divorce process, from initial filing to litigation if necessary.
Dissolution of marriage is Alaska's version of uncontested divorce. In order to dissolve a marriage, the spouses must agree on all matters of custody, visitation, property, debts, and financial support. With experience in arbitration and mediation, we are often able to help couples achieve an amicable divorce and work out the details of a dissolution agreement, thus avoiding the financial and emotional strain of litigation.
A military divorce must be handled differently than a civilian divorce because of government regulations and other special considerations, such as military pensions, residency requirements, and certain legal protections for military members. For example, the Service Members Civil Relief Act protects military members from lawsuits, including divorce proceedings, so that they can "devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation." This means that a court may delay legal proceedings for the time that a service member is on active duty and for up to 60 days following active duty. We have experience handling military divorces, understanding the potentially complex jurisdictional issues that may come into play during the proceedings.
Domestic Violence / Temporary Restraining Orders
If domestic violence has occurred in a household, or if there is a threat of domestic violence, we will pursue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to protect our client during divorce proceedings. Beyond physical abuse, a restraining order prevents annoyance, harassment, stalking, disturbing the peace, and may direct someone to stay away from the protected person's home, school, or workplace. We have experience handling cases where domestic violence is an issue, and we understand how to protect our clients during the divorce process.
Spousal Support / Alimony
In most cases, courts prefer to settle all financial matters accompanying a divorce during the division of assets and debts. This means that courts are more likely to make an unequal division of property to counter economic disparity between the spouses so long as it is fair to do so. However, spousal support, sometimes referred to as alimony, may be awarded to enable a divorcing spouse to become self-sufficient or to maintain a balanced standard of living. While such awards are usually temporary, they may be permanent in some situations. The court will look at factors such as:
- The length of the marriage and station in life of the spouses during the marriage
- The earning capacity of the divorcing spouses, including their educational backgrounds, training, employment skills, work experiences, length of absence from the job market, and custodial responsibilities for children during the marriage
- The financial condition of the parties, including the availability and cost of health insurance
- The conduct of the parties, including whether there has been unreasonable depletion of marital assets
- The division of property upon divorce
We help clients achieve fair and balanced support arrangements, whether through litigation, mediation, or arbitration.
Seek Experienced Representation
If you are contemplating a divorce, please contact the Law Office of Maryann E. Foley for experienced, supportive representation.