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Divorce Laws in Alaska

Alaska has a thirty-day waiting period for divorce. You may obtain a default divorce if your spouse fails to respond within twenty days of receiving divorce papers which have been properly served. Mediation may be court ordered if divorcing couples cannot agree on terms. Generally, Alaska does not recognize common law marriage.

Residency and Jurisdiction
You must be physically present in Alaska and plan to stay in Alaska indefinitely in order to file for divorce in the State. There is no minimum number of days for residency. You must file in the county where you live.

Fault or No Fault
Alaska allows fault and no fault divorce.

Divorce may be filed by both parties together, if they have come to an agreement on terms, by stating that incompatibility of temperament has caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage. Other grounds for divorce are as follows:

  • Failure to consummate the marriage at the time of the marriage and continuing at the commencement of the action;
  • Adultery;
  • Conviction of a felony;
  • Willful desertion for a period of one year;
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment calculated to impair health or endanger life;
  • Personal indignities rendering life burdensome; 
  • Incompatibility of temperament;
  • Habitual gross drunkenness contracted since marriage and continuing for one year prior to the commencement of the action;
  • Incurable mental illness when the spouse has been confined to an institution for a period of at least 18 months immediately preceding the commencement of the action; the status as to the support and maintenance of the mentally ill person is not altered in any way by the granting of the divorce;
  • Addiction of either party, subsequent to the marriage, to the habitual use of opium, morphine, cocaine, or a similar drug.

Additionally, a husband or wife may separately petition for dissolution of their marriage if all of the following conditions exist at the time of filing the petition:

  • Incompatibility of temperament, as evidenced by extended absence or otherwise, has caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage;
  • The petitioning spouse has been unable to ascertain the other spouse's position in regard to the dissolution of their marriage and in regard to the fair and just division of property, including retirement benefits, spousal maintenance, payment of debts, and custody, support and visitation because the whereabouts of the other spouse is unknown to the petitioning spouse after reasonable efforts have been made to locate the absent spouse; and
  • The other spouse cannot be personally served with process inside or outside the state.

Division of property
Alaska is an “equitable distribution state”, meaning the property is not divided 50/50 but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties. Spousal support payments are taken into consideration when determining division of property.

Spousal Support
Spousal support is considered rehabilitative and, if possible, avoided entirely if property division can compensate. Fault is not a factor when calculating spousal support, but marital conduct, including unreasonable depletion of marital assets, is considered.

Child custody and Support
Alaska favors joint custody. A child must have lived in the state of Alaska for at least six months in order for the state to have jurisdiction in custody matters. Child support is calculated by the Flat Percentage of Income Model.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Alaska, contact an experienced Alaska divorce attorney today.

Click here to select from Alaska divorce lawyers in your area.

Click on a link to find a Divorce Lawyer in that state.
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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Alaska and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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