Alaska Divorce Laws Explained
Alaska Residency Requirements For Divorce
The state of Alaska imposes no minimum residency requirement for the initiation of a divorce as long as the petitioner intends to become a resident of Alaska. However, 30 days must pass after filing Alaska divorce forms before the divorce can be finalized.
Grounds For Divorce In Alaska
Alaska recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce.
No-fault grounds for divorce in Alaska is:
- incompatibility of temperament which results in the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.
Some fault grounds include, but are not limited to:
- incurable mental disease and confinement for 18 months;
- substance abuse;
- conviction of a felony;
- abandonment for over one year;
- cruel and/or inhumane treatment;
- habitual drunkenness.
Alaska Child Custody
There are a few child custody options in Alaska. Parents can decide between joint legal custody, which provides equal decision-making power to both parents, or sole legal custody, which provides only one parent with decision-making powers. Primary physical custody means the child spends more time at one parent’s home. Shared physical custody means the child spends equal amount of time at each parents’ home.
Alaska divorce courts consider the following factors, which include but are not limited to:
- needs of the child;
- ability and desire of each parent to meet those needs;
- desires of the child;
- bond between parent and child;
- length of time the child has lived in a particular environment;
- the custodial parent’s desire and ability to allow frequent contact between the non-custodial parent and the child, and encouragement of an open and loving relationship between the other parent and child.
Alaska Child Support Guidelines
Unless special circumstances are present, the courts calculate child support based on the official child support guidelines. Child support will continue until the child reaches adulthood, and may be extended through his or her secondary education.
Alaska divorce forms may be filed in the petitioner’s or in the respondent’s county of residence. If the petitioner is not yet a resident of Alaska, they may file the divorce forms if they intend to become a resident of Alaska.
Either spouse may file a motion with the court requesting mediation as an alternative to the court process any time before or after the Alaska divorce forms are filed. The court may also order mediation if the courts feel the spouses deserve a more agreeable divorce settlement. The court has the ability and power to appoint a mediator.