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Child custody reform in Alaska

Child custody is one of the most sensitive discussions in a divorce. Oftentimes, in Alaska and many other states, one parent is granted custody while the other is granted visitation rights. A legislative bill was considered in one area that would promote shared parenting when dealing with child custody.

The bill was considered three years ago to ensure that both parents are fully involved in their children's lives after the parents split. However, the proposal was unsuccessful in spite of the support from multiple lawmakers. Reportedly, statistics have proved that there are negative impacts that court decisions are having on children. According to reports, children who are raised by single parents account for 85 percent of those who are in prison.

Sixty-three percent of teens commit suicide, and another 71 percent are high school dropouts. In 80 percent of child custody cases, full custody is awarded to the mother even though both parents are fit to be involved in their children's daily lives. The International Council on Shared Parenting indicates that shared parenting is recommended for the child's well-being and development.

Child custody disputes are undoubtedly emotional events, and it can be even more emotional when a parent loses custody. This is why shared parenting gives both parents equal time with the children while promoting their well-being. When dealing with child custody cases, the family court system in Alaska determines a custody schedule and which parent will make legal decisions for a child. If one parent is deemed unfit, then the court may grant the other parent full custody.

Source: al.com, "Shared parenting: Alabama's child custody reform solution", Austin Burdick, Oct. 22, 2014

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