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The ending of a marriage by a court order. In Alaska, the term "divorce" also refers to the contested proceeding used to divorce, as opposed to the un-contested proceeding used to divorce, called a dissolution.

The requirements for using dissolution procedure are:

Either the husband or wife (or both) must be domiciled in Alaska. That means the person claims residency in Alaska. The person must be physically present in Alaska and intend to remain indefinitely. No minimum number of days of residency is required. In addition, military personnel who do not claim to be Alaska residents may file for dissolution if they have been continuously stationed at a military base or installation in Alaska for at least 30 days. AS 25.24.900.

The court must have jurisdiction over the minor children of the marriage (children underage 18) in one of the ways described in AS 25.30.300. This generally means the children (a) must have lived in Alaska at least six consecutive months and (b) must currently live in Alaska or must have lived in Alaska within six months before the case is filed.

The husband and wife must agree that "incompatibility of temperament has caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage." This means there is no chance of saving the marriage because the husband and wife cannot get along.

The husband and wife must agree on all of the following:
  a. custody of each minor child of the marriage,
  b. visitation (including visitation by grandparents and other persons),
  c. child support (including whether or not the services of the Child SupportEnforcement Division will be requested),
  d. distribution of all real and personal marital property (both jointly owned and separately owned and community property under AS 34.75), including retirement benefits,
  e. payment of spousal maintenance (alimony), if any,
  f. payment of all existing debts owed by either or both of them and payment of any debts which may be incurred jointly in the future, and
  g. the tax consequences of all the above agreements.

The property and spousal maintenance agreements must be fair and just and must take into consideration the factors listed in AS 25.24.160(a)(2) and (4) so that the economic effect of the dissolution is fairly allocated.

The custody and visitation law has changed in family cases with any domestic violence between the parents. House Bill 385 (2004) went into effect of July 1, 2004 and applies to divorce, dissolution, and custody cases. Under the new law, the parent who committed the domestic violence may not get custody or visitation. However, the parent may get some custody or visitation if he or she meets specific legal requirements. If there is any history of domestic violence in your relationship, you should talk with a lawyer about how this law will impact your case As is the case with any new law, there are likely to be aspects that are open to interpretation.

If you cannot meet one or more of these requirements, contact a lawyer to find out what your options are.
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