Understanding Alaska Divorce Laws
Divorce Requirements for Alaska Residents
There is no minimum residency requirement in Alaska for couples wanting to file a divorce. However, the petitioner must be living in Alaska by the time the divorce is filed and that he or she must have an intention to remain in Alaska as a resident.
There’s a 30-day turnaround time from the day the Alaska divorce forms are filed before the divorce is completed in the State of Alaska.
Alaska Grounds For Divorce
Alaska acknowledges both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce or dissolution of marriage.
What are no-fault grounds for divorce in Alaska?
Incompatibility of temperament is the no-fault ground for divorce that is widely used in Alaska.
What are the fault grounds for divorce in Alaska?
A divorce in Alaska may be filed basing on any of the eight statutory fault grounds as follows:
- Failure to consummate the marriage at the time of the marriage and continuing at the filing of the divorce;
- Incurable mental disease and confinement for 18 months;
- Substance abuse contracted after marriage;
- Conviction of a felony;
- Willful desertion for at least 12 months;
- Habitual drunkenness developed since marriage, and continuing for 12 months prior to the filing of divorce;
- Either: A. Cruel and inhuman treatment that poses a risk to one’s health or endanger life; B. Personal disgraces rendering life burdensome;
Child Custody Law in Alaska
As in other States, the best interest of the child applies in Alaska when it comes to Child Custody. A few options in Alaska child custody are as follows:
- Legal Custody – Both parents are given equal decision-making powers.
- Sole Legal Custody – Only one parent is granted with decision-making powers.
- Primary Physical Custody – One parent is given more time than the other to raise the child.
- Shared Physical Custody – Both parents are granted with equal amount of time to spend with the child at each parent’s home.
In determining the best interests on the child, Alaska divorce courts consider the following factors:
- Needs of the child (physical, emotional, mental, religious, and social);
- Ability and desire of each parent to meet those needs;
- Preference of the child if the child is of sufficient age and is capable of forming a preference;
- Bond or connection between parent and child, which is relative to the parties’ love and affection for each other;
- Length of time the child has lived in a stable environment, and indications of maintaining such a child-conducive 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.
- Any evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, or substance abuse perpetrated by either parent or any member of the household that could negatively impact the general well-being of the child.
Guidelines for Alaska Child Support
The computation for child support in Alaska is based on a “Flat Percentage of Income Model.” The calculation is based on the percentage of the net income of the one who pays (less taxes and other allowed expenses), and generally does not include the financial capacity of the custodial parent.
Where to file for a divorce?
The petitioner must file the Alaska divorce papers either in his or her county of residence or that of the respondent’s. If the petitioner does not live in Alaska at the time of the filing, he or she must have the intention of becoming a resident of Alaska.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file Alaska online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for Alaska Residents” above and also review the best online divorce sites.
Both parties involved in a divorce action in Alaska have equal rights to request for mediation. Before or after filing the Alaska Divorce forms, either spouse may file a motion requesting mediation to resolve issues out of court. Alaska divorce courts have the power to appoint a mediator.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the Alaska Courts for more information