If you're contemplating a separation from your spouse, you may be wondering about your options. Alaska law recognizes two methods to terminate a marriage-divorce and dissolution. While they end with the same result, these methods have their differences.
Both choices terminate a marriage, but are different routes to get there.
Dissolution-also known as uncontested divorce-is an option to end your marriage if you both agree on everything including custody, visitation and how you'll divide the debts and property. If you disagree on any of these terms, then divorce is the better choice. Ending your marriage with a dissolution saves you time and money as it only requires one court appearance. This is also a non-confrontational way to end a marriage saving you animosity and conflict.
Divorce-also known as a contested divorce-is appropriate when spouses don't agree on the terms of their separation. This option involves a trial where a judge will make a decision on your behalf regarding property and custody. In divorce, there is typically greater conflict and contention and may take longer since the court is involved.
Both divorce and dissolution require that one of the spouses is a legal resident of Alaska and, if children are part of the equation, a parenting plan to address the schedule of shared time, financial issues, child support and decision making.
Whether you choose dissolution or divorce to terminate your marriage, it's best to consult with an attorney for legal advice to ensure the best possible outcome.