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.