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Alaska Divorce Mediation, Counseling and Parenting Classes
Alaska Divorce Mediation:
In an attempt to reach a settlement, either or both spouses may request mediation, and the judge may order it if he or she believes a more satisfactory settlement may be achieved. [Alaska Statutes; 25.34.060]. The court considers whether evidence of domestic violence between the spouses might affect the fairness of the mediation or the safety of the domestic violence victim.
The court in Alaska may order the spouses to family counseling, which the court pays for. However, the court does not refer parties to counseling if a domestic violence protective order is in effect, with certain exceptions.
Alaska Parenting Class:
Alaska requires that divorcing parents take a video or an online parenting class before the court hands down its final decree in divorce, dissolution or custody cases.
Parents must view an approved video, which includes Listen to the Children (which is free if viewed in the court; there is no online viewing option) or What Parents Need to Know from Kids about Divorce (which is viewed at the court for free; or seen online for $10). Parents also have the option of talking an on-line Internet class Children in Between. There is a fee for the course but indigent parents may qualify for a fee waiver.
Courts in Fairbanks, Ketchikan and Juneau also require a court-sponsored parenting class in contested cases, and some courts may require the 20-minute Two Homes video that can be seen at no charge on-line.
The parent education requirement depends on the location of the court where the case is filed. Different locations have different requirements, but all locations provide video viewings.
Parents must file a certificate of completion after completing the court requirements. In dissolution cases, some courts require that both parents file their certificate at the clerk's office at the same time they file their papers for dissolution, which means that parents must see the video or complete the on-line class before filing for dissolution.
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