Alaska Divorce Laws

Divorce laws in Alaska govern how married couples can legally end their marriage in the state. Whether you file for a contested divorce or an uncontested dissolution of marriage, the process involves meeting state-specific requirements and following the proper steps to divorce in Alaska. Legalese is, understandably, often hard to grasp. To simplify your introduction to Alaska divorce laws, we provide an overview of eligibility, grounds, property division, child custody, alimony, child support, and more.

And if you find it hard to navigate paperwork preparation or further steps for your uncontested, full-agreement divorce, we are here for you. Our online paperwork preparation service will gladly help you complete the dissolution of marriage forms and provide detailed instructions on the filing process in the state.

Alaska Divorce Requirements

Alaska divorce lawsprovide some important requirements and procedural steps that spouses must complete when pursuing marriage termination in the state. Whether filing for a contested or uncontested dissolution of marriage, certain guidelines apply to access the court system and move towards finalizing the divorce decree. Here are some of the key Alaska divorce requirements that spouses should be aware of when beginning the process:
  • To file for divorce in Alaska, one of the spouses must be a state resident. Generally, you are considered a resident if you are in Alaska when you file and intend to stay as a resident. If you don’t live here and were married outside the state, you can still file in Alaska if your spouse is a resident.
  • For the court to have authority to make decisions about child custody and visitation, the children must have lived in Alaska for at least 6 continuous months before filing.
  • The filing fee to initiate the divorce may differ depending on where you file but generally revolves around $250. Additional fees may apply for serving documents or if an investigation is required in disputes.
  • After the initial divorce paperwork has been filed, Alaska divorce laws require a minimum 30-day waiting period before the dissolution can be finalized.
  • If spouses cannot agree on the divorce terms, the court may order mandatory mediation sessions. Couples with children should follow custody dispute resolution procedures.
  • Requests for interim child support or alimony must be submitted separately from the divorce paperwork using specific supplemental forms. Support orders require financial details and income documentation.
  • Both spouses need to fully disclose details on all marital assets, debts, income, and other financial information. Failure to fully disclose assets is considered “fraud on the court.”
  • If one spouse seeks primary custody, evidence demonstrating involvement in child-rearing may be required, including proof of school enrollment, medical records, or teacher testimony.
While an uncontested dissolution of marriage in Alaska may take around 1 month, a contested divorce often takes 6 months or longer. By understanding the required steps and divorce laws in Alaska, spouses can navigate the process as quickly as it is possible in the state.

What Are the Divorce Laws in Alaska?

Here are the basic provisions of divorce laws in Alaska:

Divorce vs. Dissolution

While some states use the terms interchangeably, Alaska statutes specifically differentiate between divorce and dissolution.

Dissolution is a process that can legally end the marriage based on both parties’ mutual consent. There should be an agreement concerning property and debt division, child and spousal support, and child custody and visitation. Spouses may file for an uncontested dissolution of marriage jointly, and the only legal reason (ground) for this would be the incompatibility of temperament that has caused the irretrievable marriage breakdown (AS § 25.24.200).

Divorce is a contested process of ending a marriage when spouses do not agree on the terms. Besides, the petitioner must indicate a substantial fault-based reason for marriage termination.

Grounds for Divorce

Under AS § 25.24.050, a divorce may be granted on the following grounds:

Alaska divorce laws also provide for defenses to adultery and other divorce grounds.

Property Division

Alaska follows principles of an equitable division of all marital assets and debts. The distribution of the latter is based on factors like length of marriage, income, age, and health. The process involves valuing all assets, from real estate to vehicles, retirement accounts, and personal property. Debts are divided in a similar manner.

Child Custody

Courts determine child custody matters based on the best interests of the minor children involved. Legal and physical custody arrangements aim to provide each parent with significant time with their children. While Alaska’s courts strongly favor keeping both parents actively involved in the children’s lives after a divorce, they will never award even joint custody to the party with a history of domestic violence (AS § 25.24.150).


Spousal maintenance payments, or alimony, may be granted to a spouse who cannot become fully self-supporting after divorce. Alaska courts consider the length of the marriage, income levels and earning capacity, health, retirement assets, and more when deciding alimony (AS § 25.24.160(a)(2)).

Child Support

Per Alaska guidelines, the non-custodial parent typically pays child support to help cover costs related to raising the children. The amount is calculated based on both parties’ income, the number of children, and the child custody schedule. The formulas for child support calculations are provided in the Alaska Civil Rule 90.3.

If you need more details on what are the divorce laws in Alaska, feel free to check Title 25, Chapter 24 of the Alaska Statutes. These govern both dissolution of marriage and divorce processes in the state and can provide you with in-depth insights on matters we haven’t covered in the article.


Alaska divorce laws outline residency requirements (living with intention to reside), grounds for marriage termination (both fault and no-fault ones), equitable distribution of marital property, determining child custody and support based on the child’s best interests, etc.

Yes, Alaska allows fault-based divorce on grounds such as drug or alcohol addiction, adultery, desertion, conviction of a felony, cruelty, or mental illness.

As per divorce laws in Alaska, the court equitably (fairly) divides all marital property between spouses, which may not be exactly equal. Factors like income, debt, and more are considered.

Alaska does not require any separation period before filing for divorce or dissolution of marriage.

Yes, annulments declaring the marriage legally void from the start are an option in Alaska. Common annulment grounds include being underage when getting married, fraud, mental incompetence, or failure to consummate the marriage. An annulment process is different from a marriage dissolution one.