Alaska provides for marital-like property distribution following a cohabitative relationship. Therefore, union pension plan participant’s cohabiting partner was “other dependent,” within meaning of Internal Revenue Code and therefore, was “alternate payee” within meaning of ERISA, and thus, ERISA did not prohibit distribution of portion of participant’s union pension plan to partner upon termination of 16-year relationship, where participant claimed partner as dependent on his taxes and they shared residence.
Laura W. Morgan is the owner and operator at Family Law Consulting in Charlottesville, Virginia. Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website. www.famlawconsult.com