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Sharpe v. Sharpe

Alaska Supreme Court
366 P.3d 66 (Alaska 2016)


Jolene Lyon (plaintiff) and Jyzyk Sharpe (defendant) divorced. At the time of the divorce Jolene had an annual income of approximately $120,000. The superior court awarded Jyzyk primary physical custody of the couple’s child and ordered Jolene to pay Jyzyk $1,507 per month in child support. After the divorce, Jolene, a Yup’ik Eskimo, quit her job and moved to a remote part of the state to begin living the Alaskan Native cultural lifestyle. Jolene then moved to modify her child support obligation to $50 per month. Jolene stated that she did not intend to return to the workforce in her new location. Jyzyk argued that Jolene’s unemployment was voluntary and did not entitle her to a child support modification. Jolene argued that while her unemployment was voluntary, her unemployment was not unreasonable. The superior court denied Jolene’s motion. Jolene appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Bolger, J.)

Dissent (Winfree, J.)

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