Child Custody in Alaska

We understand that a child custody battle is a personal and highly emotional issue. This is why we’re so passionate about connecting you with Alaska professionals that will help you fight for your rights as a parent.

What Is Child Custody?

When two parents separate, they must decide on how their children spend time between them. Child custody refers to the right of either or both parents to provide a home for their children and exercise parental rights. In Alaska, not all child custody cases go to court, but when they do, courts make their decisions based on what they think is most beneficial for the child.

Types of Child Custody Arrangements in Alaska

There are three main types of arrangements that can occur. These include full custody, sole custody, and joint custody. In Alaska, the Superior Court has jurisdiction over custody cases. There are 45 Superior Court Judges located throughout the state.

What Is Full Custody?

In a full custody arrangement, one parent receives the majority of the parenting time and maintains physical custody. In most instances, this person also makes the majority of the decisions about the child’s upbringing and has control over decisions related to health, education, and religion. The parent awarded full custody is the primary custodial parent.

According to the Alaska Courts, the judge will generally give custody to whoever they think will be able to serve the best interests of the child. Preference for custody is certainly given to biological parents. For a non-parent to get custody, they must prove that the biological parent is unfit. Of note, the court is not allowed to terminate one parent’s rights in a custody proceeding in Alaska. However, the court can restrict access to the child if there is a serious safety concern involving violence or substance abuse.

Once the custody order is in place, you can petition the court that issued the order to modify it if there has been a change in circumstances. The judge may modify the order if it is in the best interests of the child.

Even when children only live with one parent, the other parent can still be a part of their lives. The custodial parent may allow visiting time or the children may spend a few weekends with the non-custodial parent. In some instances, a parent awarded full custody might still maintain joint custody in practice with their partner for the benefit of the children.

What Is Sole Custody?

Most people do not differentiate between one parent getting the overwhelming majority of the parenting time or rights and sole custody. However, it is important to note the possibility of some parents getting no parenting time or rights at all. The court will provide one parent with sole physical custody if the other parent is deemed an unfit parent.

In some cases, the court may go as far as to terminate the rights of the other parent. This may occur if the parent gets convicted of particular crimes that might endanger a child. An example is child abuse or inappropriate sexual conduct with a child. Alaska state laws vary on what might result in parental termination.

What Is Joint Custody?

Joint custody describes the arrangement where both parents of the child split physical custody. When parents share equal custody, the child may spend a week or two on and off with either parent. Some families also practice “nesting”, where both parents move in and out of the home the child lives in when it is their turn to have custody.

Joint custody in Alaska is when neither parent has the child for more than 70% of the child’s time during a one-year period. Alaska law presumes that children should have equal access to both parents. When deciding upon joint custody, the judge will consider many factors including the willingness of each parent to encourage a close relationship between the child and the other parent. The judge will also consider where the parents live, and each parent’s ability to meet the physical, emotional, mental, religious, and social needs of the child. Additionally, the judge will always consider any evidence of violence or substance abuse by a parent.

In many joint custody arrangements, one parent may retain complete responsibility. This is for any major decisions that have to be made in regard to the well-being of the child. Also, joint custody does not always mean an equal sharing of time. In most instances, one parent still retains primary custody. In these cases, they may hold the larger portion of a 60/40 time split.

The Factors Courts Consider When Making a Decision

In Alaska, full custody is often awarded when one parent isn’t able to contribute to the responsibilities with raising the child. For example, if a parent is physically incarcerated, doesn’t have financial stability, or is involved in situations that may potentially hurt the child, the court may grant one parent full or sole custody due to the circumstances.

On the other hand, the parents are often provided joint custody. Both parents assume the responsibilities that are required to raise a healthy and happy child. Both parents need to be able to work together to maintain consistent communication and follow the directions of the court. Sometimes parents do not work well together. Then the court is sometimes more likely to award one parent the majority of the parenting time to reduce friction.

With any Alaska joint custody case, both parents need to coordinate resources and activities to support the needs of the child. Because, the situation of your custody arrangements might vary. There may be supervised custody arrangements for one parent. Another option is a public meeting place for the child to be picked up and dropped off with the other parent.

The Basics of the Alaska Child Custody Process 

Custody arrangements are often subject to family court orders and decisions. However, this is not always the case. Even when the split is amicable, hiring a child custody lawyer can help. Navigate the troubled waters of your custody battle with legal help. Many parents are able to come together to find a solution that works well for the child without needing to involve the court system.

In Alaska, you can choose mediation before the case in order to avoid a contested case. After the case is opened, you must inform the judge that mediation is ongoing so that the pre-trial schedule can be adjusted as needed. Although mediation is not mandated by law in Alaska, a judge can order mediation.

According to the Alaska Judicial Council, anyone can act as a mediator in Alaska. Ideally, the mediator will have the necessary skills to help you clear up misunderstandings. As well as help you  explore creative solutions, and reach acceptable agreements.

Working with a custody lawyer as a mediator can help to advise you on the best type of custody arrangement. One that would work for the unique requirements and needs of your child. Hire an experienced Alaska child custody lawyer to help you better understand your rights as a parent and avoid costly mistakes.

Work With an Experienced Alaska Child Custody Lawyer 

A child custody battle is a difficult and frustrating process. This is worse when there is animosity between you and the other parent. An Alaska lawyer that specializes in this area can help to explain the entire process of the child custody battle and can help to make a positive impact on your case whether they mediate the arrangement or defend one party.

Your chances of seeing a custody agreement and visitation rights that are favorable for you will be much more likely with an attorneys help. If you’re looking to hire an experienced Alaska child custody lawyer to help you understand your rights as a parent, you’ve come to the right place.

The attorneys we connect people with can increase your chances of getting the arrangement you seek, even in complex cases. Connect with an experienced lawyer in your area today. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Alaska state lines. 

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

Do you have a different legal concern that requires the help of a lawyer? We have a network of attorneys for any area of the law you need in Alaska.

Auto Accident Injury

Bankruptcy

Business Law

Child Birth Injury

Child Support

Consumer Law

Copyright Law

Criminal Defense

Debt Collector Harassment

Divorce Law

DUI Law

Employment Law

Eviction Law

Foreclosure Defense

Identity Theft

Immigration Law

Insurance Claims

Lemon Law

Medical Malpractice

Nursing Home Abuse

Patent Law

Personal Injury Law

Power of Attorney

Probate Law

Property Disputes

Real Estate Law

Social Security Disability

Tax Law

Traffic Law

Vaccination Injury

Workers Compensation

Workplace Discrimination

Wrongful Termination

Wills and Trusts

How It All Works

Call us or answer the questions on this site. Your category, location, and additional information will help us connect you to a legal professional and we’ll send you the results instantly.

Which Areas of Law?

We have attorneys in over 20 legal categories to choose from.

How Much Does This Cost?

We don’t charge you to be connected. Some legal categories require upfront fees while others do not. The legal professional will determine this with you before you commit to anything.