Child custody decisions in Alaska

When a marriage or other long-term relationship is coming to an end, it can be a very difficult and emotional time. Finding the right time to end a relationship is never easy, and couples that have spent a lot of time together may have difficulty drifting apart.

If the couple has had children together, both parents will likely want to remain involved in the lives of their children. These child custody disputes are often the most challenging aspects of any divorce or separation. Parents may fight over the time they are able to spend with the child, and this can lead to bitter disputes that require the court to make a decision.

Best interests of the child

When a court is asked to decide upon a child custody matter in Alaska, it must base any decision on the best interests of the child. Many factors go into what the court will examine before making a decision. These factors include:

  • The needs of the child
  • The ability of the parents to meet these needs
  • The preference of the child, if mature enough to express these wishes
  • The love and affection between child and parent
  • The ability of the parents to provide a stable environment for the child

Additional factors may also be considered, which generally focus on the lifestyles of the parents. These situations may lead each side to accuse the other of being an unfit parent in the hopes of receiving custody or additional visitation time.

Working together on custody issues

Because the court will only see a small picture of the situation, parents may be best served by trying to work out an agreement between one another. No matter how challenging it is to find out an arrangement that works for all sides, the court will issue a ruling that it believes is best for the child. If one of the parents does not like the agreement, he or she will still be expected to honor the decision.

If the parties are able to resolve their differences and agree to custody and parenting time arrangements, it can go a long way toward reducing some of the anger that can sometimes arise during a divorce. This way each parent will be able to enjoy the major events in a child's life, making it easier for both parents to play an active role.

Once entered, these agreements can be difficult to modify. It is important to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney to help you create a child custody agreement that is focused on the child's best interests.

If it is necessary to have the court determine the appropriate arrangements, you need someone who is able to express your needs to the court. This may be a very difficult time for you and your family, but you need to work with someone who understands the sort of things that the court will consider when making a decision.