Child Custody Laws in Alaska

Child Custody Laws in Alaska

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Child Custody Laws in Alaska

 

Guide to Child Custody Laws in Alaska

 

 

If you are an Alaskan parent who is involved in a custody dispute, you may not know all the types of custody the state allows.  Understanding child custody laws in Alaska can help you navigate the family court system more easily and quickly.  This guide will explain the types of custody offered to parents in Alaska as well as some other aspects of child custody that many parents need to know about before they go to court.

 

 

Can Children Decide?

 

 

Even if a child has a strong preference for staying with one parent or another, child custody laws in Alaska do not allow a child's preferences to be the sole determining factor in child custody proceedings at any age.  Children are only allowed to choose which parent to live with after they have attained the age of majority at 18.  

 

 

Child custody laws in Alaska do allow judges to take a child's preferences into account as one factor in their determinations, but only when considered in conjunction with many other factors.

 

 

Parenting Plans

 

 

Many parents prefer not to go through the heartache and expense of custody hearings.  For these parents, developing a parenting plan may be a good idea.  Parenting plans are explicitly allowed by child custody laws in Alaska, and let parents who can agree on how to divide their parental responsibilities draft a compromise agreement.  This agreement is then given to the court for final approval.  Generally, as long as the agreement appears to be in the best interest of the child, it will be signed off on.

 

 

Parenting plans must include a great deal of information about how parenting responsibilities will be split, including information about where a child will live, who will have responsibility for each aspect of the child's life, and what will be done in the event of parental disputes over shared responsibilities.

 

 

Legal Custody

 

 

Legal custody, which means the ability to make important decisions about a child, can be awarded as shared custody or sole custody.  Child custody laws in Alaska prefer shared legal custody, in which parents work together to make determinations about their child's education, healthcare, and religion.  However, sole legal custody, which puts these decisions into one parent's hands, may be awarded if this appears to be in the child's best interest.

 

 

Types of Physical Custody

 

 

Child custody laws in Alaska actually allow for four different types of physical custody (which determines where a child will live).  They are:

 

 

ñ Shared physical custody, in which each parent spends at least 30% of the year with their child.

 

 

ñ Primary physical custody, in which one parent is lived with more than 70% of the year.

 

 

ñ Divided custody, in which one parent has custody of at least one child, while the other parent has custody of at least on other child, but the parents don't share primary physical custody of any child.

 

 

ñ Hybrid custody, in which one parent or both parents have primary physical custody of at least one child, and shared custody of at least one child.

 

 

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