Do your own divorce
Alaska - Divorce Requirements
The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of Alaska divorce.

Click here for more specific information regarding Alaska divorce laws.

Every effort has been made to assure that the information contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.

Residency Requirements Filing spouse must be a resident of the state. There is no residency time required
Where to File You can file the divorce papers in the Alaska county where you or your spouse live.
Grounds for Divorce
  • 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; OR personal indignities rendering life burdensome; OR 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
Voluntary or required mediation Yes
Voluntary or recommended CounselingYes
Property Distribution Alaska is an "equitable distribution" state. Both separate and joint properties are divided in a manner which is fair. In a no-fault divorce, property acquired prior to the marriage date will not be considered, unless the property has influence on the children. Separate property (gifts, and inheritances) may also be considered for distribution.
When distributing property identified as community property under a community property agreement or trust under AS 34.77, unless the parties have provided in the agreement or trust for another disposition of the community property, the court shall make such disposition of the community property as shall appear just and equitable after considering all relevant factors, including

  • The nature and extent of the community property;
  • The nature and extent of the separate property;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or right to live in the family home for reasonable periods to a spouse with whom the children reside the majority of the time.
Child Custody The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child under AS 25.20.060 - 25.20.130. In determining the best interests of the child the court shall consider the following:
  • The physical, emotional, mental, religious, and social needs of the child;
  • The capability and desire of each parent to meet these needs;
  • The child's preference if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form a preference;
  • The love and affection existing between the child and each parent;
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;
  • The desire and ability of each parent to allow an open and loving frequent relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • Any evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect in the proposed custodial household or a history of violence between the parents;
  • Evidence that substance abuse by either parent or other members of the household directly affects the emotional or physical well-being of the child;
  • Other factors that the court considers pertinent.
Uniform Child Custody Act: 1977

Is Joint Custody Rewarded? YES

Do Grandparents Have the Right to Visitation? YES

Are Child's Wishes Considered? YES
Child Support Either parent may be ordered to provide support. The payments may paid directly to an appointed court employee, or through the state enforcement agency. There are specific child support guidelines for the state although deviation from the guidelines is permitted under certain circumstances. The following factors are generally considered: a child's need for contact with both parents, the joint responsibilities for the welfare of the child, the financial resources, cost of day care, and the standard of living the child would have otherwise enjoyed had not the divorce taken place.
Spousal Support The judge has complete control over the decision of whether to award an allowance or not. The support may be issued in one lump sum or on a installment plan. Faults of each spouse may not be taken into consideration when support decisions are made.