Anchorage and Matanuska Valley, Alaska Child Custody Lawyers with 75+ Years of Combined Expertise
The events following a divorce can be tough to navigate. Not only are you considering how to start fresh, but it can be consuming to have concerns on your mind, like alimony and child support. With over 75 years of combined experience representing clients throughout Anchorage, Matanuska Valley and surrounding areas, Denali Law Group has the expertise and knowledge to negotiate your child custody case.
When parents separate or divorce, a judge will issue a custody order designating which parent has physical and legal custody or if the parents will share custody of their children. Parents can share legal custody, which endows them with the decision-making power on their child’s behalf, even if only one parent is awarded sole physical custody (who the child resides with). Let a compassionate lawyer help you in your child custody settlements.
We Help Protect Your and Your Child’s Interests
A custody order usually includes a parenting plan based on the arrangement in the child’s best interests. The custody order will also specify who has legal custody and can thus make any important health, education, and social issues regarding the children.
A parenting plan will define the circumstances when the children can travel out-of-state and additional financial matters, such as which parent will claim children for tax purposes in which years.
If you are facing a custody battle following divorce or a change in circumstances, consult an attorney for legal support. Numerous factors affect the terms of a custody order, particularly as a judge considers how circumstances of custody may affect the child’s best interests.
Child Custody FAQs
The court determines custody, or the parenting plan, according to what arrangement is in the child’s best interests, which is based on:
- the physical, emotional, mental, religious, and social needs of the child;
- the capability and desire of each parent to meet these needs;
- the child's preference if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form a preference;
- the love and affection existing between the child and each parent;
- the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;
- the willingness and ability to facilitate and encourage a continuing relationship between the other parent;
- any evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect in the proposed custodial household or a history of violence between the parents;
- evidence that substance abuse by either parent or other members of the household directly affects the emotional or physical well-being of the child;
- other factors that the court considers pertinent.
The parent who is awarded sole physical custody (the custodial parent) will have an advantage in a relocation proceeding. However, a noncustodial parent can object to the other parent’s move if it impacts visitation. For example, one parent’s move to a new neighborhood 15 minutes away won’t impact visitation, but a move 1,500 miles away will. One parent’s relocation constitutes a change in circumstances, which is necessary to modify custody. Be aware that the nonmoving parent bears the burden of proving that a change in custody is in the child’s best interests.
Note that there are two ways a custody order can happen:
- based on both parents’ agreement in a settlement; or
- under a judge’s decision.
It is usually best if both parents can work together to agree on the parenting plan. As long as the plan is in the child’s best interests, the judge will usually sign off on the agreement and avoid a trial. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, though, the matter will go to trial for the judge to make the final call. In this case, you’ll want a reliable lawyer on your side to advocate for you and your child.