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Alaska Child Custody Laws

Parents must come to an agreement on child custody when they separate. These arrangements include how they will make major decisions moving forward (referred to as "legal custody") and how they will share time with the child (referred to as "parenting time," "timesharing," or "physical custody," depending on the state). If parents are unable to come to an agreement, courts will decide the best course of action based on state child custody laws.

All states, except Massachusetts, adhere to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which clarifies which state has jurisdiction regarding custody/parenting time matters.

This article provides a general overview of child custody laws in the state of Alaska.

Alaska Child Custody Laws at a Glance

Alaska statute outlines a number of factors that go into child custody decisions, such as the emotional needs of the child and the relationship between the child and each parent. See the Alaska Court System website section on Parenting and Custody for more information and links to forms.

You can find additional details about Alaska child custody laws in the chart below. See FindLaw's extensive Child Custody section for more articles and resources.

Code Section § 25.24.150 et seq. of the Alaska Statutes
Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted 1998
  Factors Considered by the Court Before Awarding Custody
  • The child's preference if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form a preference;
  • The needs of the child;
  • The stability of the home environment is likely to be offered by each parent;
  • The education of the child;
  • The advantages of keeping the child in the community where the child presently resides;
  • The optimal time for the child to spend with each parent considering:
    • The actual time spent with each parent;
    • The proximity of each parent to the other and to the school in which the child is enrolled;
    • The feasibility of travel between the parents;
    • Special needs unique to the child that may be better met by one parent than the other;
    • The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child;
  • Any findings and recommendations of a neutral mediator;
  • 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 the court considers pertinent.
Joint Custody an Option? Yes, § 25.20.060, referred to as "shared custody" in Alaska
Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized? Yes, § 25.20.065
Child's Own Wishes Considered? Yes

Note: State laws may change through a few different methods, including the enactment of new legislation and the rulings of higher courts. You should contact an Alaska child custody attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Alaska Child Custody Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Help with Child Custody Today

If you and your ex are separating, you might not agree on who gets custody of the child or what the custody arrangement looks like. There are many other factors to consider in these determinations, but the court's primary concern will be the child's own best interests. One of the best ways to get a handle on the process is to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney.

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