Divorce & Children
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Child Custody

If the spouses have minor children, they must go through the process of division of custody. Alaska courts always make decisions regarding custody based on the best interests of the child. It is assumed by the courts that this can be achieved when the child has frequent and prolonged contact with both parents, unless it is believed that one of the parents may pose a danger to the child.

The courts do not always decide in favor of joint custody, and quite often, one parent who has shown more love and understanding in the process of raising a child gets primary custody. Many factors can significantly affect the decision of the judge, including:

  • the emotional, physical, mental, and social needs of the child;
  • the desire and ability of each parent to raise a child;
  • the preferences of a child;
  • the emotional contacts between the child and each parent;
  • the willingness and potential of parents to cooperate and solve problems together regarding the upbringing of a child;
  • any history of physical or psychological violence in the family;
  • and any other circumstances that the court deems essential.

Even if either parent does not receive custodial rights, he/she can still visit the child. Also, if the parent refuses visitation, the court may oblige him/her to meet with the child on a specific schedule.

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