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Anchorage Family Law Blog

What is adoption like for parents today?

It used to be the norm for adoptive parents to keep their adoptions a secret. Or, if the child knew he or she was an adoptee, it was especially rare for the adoptive parents and the child to know who the biological parent was.

Courts usually sealed the records associated with biological parents, and until the adopted child applied to unseal those records, the biological parents would remain a mystery. But what is the situation like today? Is it different?

Adopting in Alaska: Getting started

If you're considering growing your family with the help of adoption, then you're about to become a hero to one or more children. Adoption is a wonderful thing. It helps children find forever families and gives them the stability they need to grow up happy and healthy.

When you're ready to adopt in Anchorage, you should understand how it works. To be considered as an adoptive parent, you'll need to be willing to care for children who are teens or sibling groups. You should be willing to care for those with medical or behavioral needs. If you are Native American or an Alaska Native, that's also beneficial.

3 reasons to consider mediation before turning to a judge

As a parent and individual going through a divorce, you know that there are many things you don't agree with your spouse about. Despite that, it's in your best interests to work with your spouse to divide your property and create a parenting plan that works well for you and your children.

Mediation can work if you and your spouse can't get along or come up with a decision for your property or child custody arrangements. It requires you to be willing to work together, but if you can both commit to mediation, it has the potential to work well. It saves you money, time and effort in the long term, and it gives you a chance to learn how to handle situations in which you don't agree. Here are three reasons to consider mediation before turning to arbitration or the judge for a decision.

Mediation could be an affordable solution for your Alaska divorce

Getting divorced typically brings to mind thoughts of spousal discord and massive bills for everyone involved. It's true that divorces can become expensive quickly, between dividing all of the assets you've built over the course of the marriage and paying for all of the time in court. Thankfully, for some couples, there is a faster and often far more affordable option available.

Mediation for the critical issues of your divorce can help you and your spouse harmonize the terms for your divorce. Instead of battling one another in court, you can work together to find mutually agreeable solutions to all the major issues in your divorce, from asset division to child custody.

Custody issues can be more complex in same-sex divorces

It has only been a few years since the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a landmark decision that every state in the country must recognize same-sex marriages. Since then, many long-term couples have had the right to marry after years, while younger LGBTQIA people can grow up knowing that their relationships can be legally recognized.

With the rise in same-sex marriage, however, has come demand for same-sex divorce. Regardless of the gender of the people in a marriage, monogamy can be hard. Couples can grow together as they age and change, or they can also grow apart. There's also always the potential for abuse and infidelity. Whatever the reason a same-sex couple may have to seek divorce, it can be a difficult and complicated process. When there are minor children in the family, a same-sex divorce can become much more complicated.

6 questions to ask before you adopt

The decision to adopt a child is a lifelong commitment. Literally, the moment you bring a child into your home to raise as your own, your life will never be the same.

Adoption and raising a child comes with many joys and stresses. As such, parents will want to weigh these factors carefully before moving forward with the adoption process. One way to fully consider your decision is to think about the following questions:

Military divorce: What's a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

Some spouses of military service members can receive part of their ex's military retirement benefits following divorce. In order to receive these benefits, the spouse must receive a court order that provides for disbursements from military retired pay and the specific amount that shall be paid.

The court order also needs to demonstrate the court's jurisdiction to issue the order by way of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act. This is usually done through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

What should I expect during my divorce proceedings?

Most Alaskans going through divorce have never experienced the process. As such, each step of their proceedings will be new to them, and they will have a lot of questions about what to expect -- especially with regard to timing.

This article will provide a general overview of timing and other things you might expect when you have to litigate your divorce proceedings in an Alaska family court.

Use these tips for limiting expenses during a divorce

It goes without saying that a divorce has the potential to be extremely expensive. Depending on the amount of time you and your spouse argue over your assets, negotiate or involve your attorneys, the costs could grow exponentially.

One important question you may have is how to reduce those costs. The goal of your divorce isn't only to get separated but to save as many of your assets as possible.

Understand step-parent adoptions if you are considering one

You love your new wife more than anything. You get along well with the kids that she has from a previous marriage. Since the children's father isn't in the picture, you'd like to adopt them so that you can play an active and legal role in their upbringing.

There are a few points that you should think about when you are trying to decide whether you should pursue a step-parent adoption. These might help you to make a decision and give you more information about what you can expect if you decide to move forward with the adoption: