Alaska Divorce Laws

Filing for divorce in Alaska

The initial document you need to file for when wanting a divorce in Alaska is the “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage”. Along with this document, evidence of the reason why the person wishes to terminate the marriage will have to be shown, which has to be under certain conditions.

Generally when living in Alaska any of the following reasons may be grounds for divorce.

Grounds for divorce in Alaska

As with the majority of states when applying for a divorce, there are, two main categories and these are fault-based and no-fault based grounds.

No-fault based grounds for divorce

There is only one no-fault based ground, for divorce, and this is incompatibility.

Fault-based grounds

  1. A failure to consummate the marriage at the time of the marriage
  2. Adultery
  3. Conviction of a felony
  4. Desertion for a period of 1 whole year
  5. Cruel or inhuman treatment
  6. Drunkenness which is habitual
  7. Mental illness which is incurable and confinement to a mental facility for 18 months
  8. Addiction to drugs Alaska Dissolution Statutes- Sections: 25.24.200, 25-24-050

When applying for divorce one of the above reasons must be given and of course, it is essential that you understand the grounds and are willing to accept any repercussions.

Child custody issues when divorcing

When making custody choices the court considers many factors with the foremost being what is in the best interests of the child. Therefore, the following may be considered:

  1. The social, physical, mental, emotional and religious views of the child
  2. How capable each parent will be able to meet the needs
  3. If the child is old enough their views and wishes will be taken into account
  4. The relationship of the child/children with each parent
  5. The amount of time that the child has been in a stable environment
  6. The willingness of each parent to continue a relationship with the other partner
  7. Any evidence of abuse or domestic violence
  8. Evidence of substance abuse that affects the child’s well being
  9. Any other conditions which the court considers to be pertinent under the Alaska Dissolution Statutes- Sections: 25-24-150, 25.24.090

What you and your spouse want is not relevant unless of course it reflects on the best interests of the child.

Child support issues

Either or both of the parents may have to pay child support and payments may be made through a trustee which is court appointed or through a child support enforcement agency. Under the Alaska rules of civil procedure; Rule 90.3 there are child support guideline. However, there are factors that may deviate from this ruling which are as follows:

  1. An exceptionally large family size
  2. If the child has a significant income
  3. Health expenses or any other extraordinary expenses
  4. Any unusually low expenses
  5. An income which is below federal poverty level
  6. Any other circumstances which may be declared as being exceptional

Property division when divorcing

Usually in Alaska, property may be divided by the parties with a signed marital settlement agreement. However if this is not possible then it is down to the Superior court to decide how property is split within the decree of dissolution of marriage.

As Alaska is called an “equitable distribution” state, the court will divide any assets with the following in mind:

  • The first step is to decide which properties are considered marital
  • A monetary value will then be placed on the property
  • Lastly assets which are considered to be marital will be split equitably, which in the eye of the court means fairly

Property that was acquired during the marriage will be taken into account along with any retirement benefits whether they are joint or separate. Distribution of property is made without any regard to who is at fault.