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Alaska Child Custody Factors

In Alaska, the court shall consider the following when making a custody decision:

(a) the physical, emotional, mental, religious, and social needs of the child;

(b) the capability and desire of each parent to meet these needs;

(c) the child’s wishes if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form a preference;

(d) the relationship each child has with each parent;

(e) the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;

(f) the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child, except that the court may not consider this willingness and ability if one parent shows that the other parent has sexually assaulted or engaged in domestic violence against the parent or a child, and that a continuing relationship with the other parent will endanger the health or safety of either the parent or the child;

(g) any evidence of domestic violence or abuse

(h) evidence that substance abuse by either parent or other members of the household directly affects the emotional or physical well-being of the child;

(i) other factors that the court considers pertinent. (Alaska Dissolution Statutes- Sections: 25-24-150, 25.24.090)

In Alaska, as with all other states, the court will always be looking out for the best interests of the children. What you want or your spouse wants is not really relevant until the court says it is. Many parents go to custody hearings not realizing that they must portray themselves as the best custodial parent rather pleading to the court that they simply deserve the children. The court would much prefer the parents to decide who should have custody, but if they canít, the court will do it for them. You can also read more about Alaska child custody in the Alaska state statutes located at: http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/Statutes/.