42-365. Decree; alimony; division of property; criteria; modification; revocation; termination
When dissolution of a marriage is decreed, the court may order payment of such alimony by one party to the other and division of property as may be reasonable, having regard for the circumstances of the parties, duration of the marriage, a history of the contributions to the marriage by each party, including contributions to the care and education of the children, and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities, and the ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the interests of any minor children in the custody of such party. Reasonable security for payment may be required by the court. A proceeding to modify or revoke an order for alimony for good cause shall be commenced by filing a complaint to modify. Service of process and other procedure shall comply with the requirements for a dissolution action. Amounts accrued prior to the date of filing of the complaint to modify may not be modified or revoked. A decree may not be modified to award alimony if alimony was not allowed in the original decree dissolving a marriage. A decree may not be modified to award additional alimony if the entire amount of alimony allowed in the original decree had accrued before the date of filing of the complaint to modify. Except as otherwise agreed by the parties in writing or by order of the court, alimony orders shall terminate upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the recipient.
While the criteria for reaching a reasonable division of property and a reasonable award of alimony may overlap, the two serve different purposes and are to be considered separately. The purpose of a property division is to distribute the marital assets equitably between the parties. The purpose of alimony is to provide for the continued maintenance or support of one party by the other when the relative economic circumstances and the other criteria enumerated in this section make it appropriate.