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How does Alaska determine child custody?

| Mar 1, 2021 | Child Custody And Support |

If you live in Alaska and plan to end your marriage, you and your spouse must make a custody arrangement if you have minor children together. The state provides families the opportunity to reach a settlement about shared parenting outside of court if possible.

Review the custody considerations Alaska parents should understand in a divorce.

Your parenting plan

The court will ask you to create a parenting plan, also called a custody order, that includes the following information:

  • Physical custody, which details the schedule for when the children will spend time with each parent
  • How and when you will transport children for visits and who funds the cost of travel if required
  • Legal custody, which explains how you and your former spouse will share decision-making that affects the children
  • Whether the children have permission to travel out of Alaska or out of the United States with either parent
  • Financial details involving the children, including child support, health insurance and tax implications

When you and your spouse cannot decide on these items, you can request a custody hearing from the family court where you live.

Best interest factors

At the hearing, the judge will review the evidence from each parent and make a decision based on the child’s best interest, including:

  • Evidence of violence, abuse or neglect
  • Each parent’s ability and willingness to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The stability of the child’s current home environment
  • The relationship the child currently has with each parent
  • How well each parent can meet the child’s social, mental, emotional, physical and religious needs

The court may also consider your child’s preference depending on age.