If you are a resident of Alaska who wants to end your marriage, you should first become familiar with the state laws and the stages of the divorce process. Doing this early on can help you avoid some misunderstandings that can prolong the process.
Filing for divorce and seeking temporary orders
The process of divorce begins when one of the parties involved files a document that identifies both parties involved, any children they share and the reason for the petition. Once the other party is served with a copy of the petition, they are allowed 21 days to respond. During this period, both parties can also file petitions for temporary orders, which are legally binding, including:
- Order for child custody
- Order for child support
- Order for spousal support
The discovery process
The next stage of the divorce journey is the discovery process. During this period, the spouses will request and receive information that will be used during negotiations and, if the case goes to court, during litigation. During this process, the parties will be asked for information and to provide documents, such as bank statements and property titles. After discovery, the parties will then continue into depositions, where each party and their witnesses provide statements.
Mediation and litigation
The parties can then go through the process of mediation to resolve their issues. In meditation, they work with a neutral third party to reach agreements on custody, financial support and division of assets and works towards a divorce settlement. If, however, they fail to solve some or all the issues, they can then go to court and litigate through them, having a judge decide over their case.
The process ends when a judge and the parties sign the divorce decree. During this time, the judge will also issue permanent orders, which could include custody and support.