Olmstead v. Ziegler
Supreme Court of Alaska
42 P.3d 1102 (2002)
William Olmstead (plaintiff) and Elizabeth Ziegler (defendant), both attorneys, were married for approximately five years. When they divorced in December 1994, Olmstead agreed to pay for the child’s daycare and educational expenses. Otherwise, the parties agreed that neither would pay child support to the other. At the time of the divorce, Olmstead was making $53,000 per year and Ziegler was making $25,000. Over the next several years, Ziegler’s income increased and Olmstead’s decreased. He became a solo practitioner after a law partner left the partnership on account of Olmstead’s lack of productivity. Olmstead gradually decreased his workload. In March 1999, he decided to close his practice and go back to school to become a teacher. In June 1999, Olmstead petitioned the court for a reduction in his child support obligation on the basis of decreased income. He asserted that he was a failure at practicing law. By this time, the child was no longer in daycare and attended public school. Olmstead paid approximately $80 per month in support. The court denied Olmstead’s petition, reasoning that his underemployment and decision to change careers was voluntary. Olmstead appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Fabe, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.