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Alaska Child Custody Laws

Parents of minors who get divorced or separated can't "split the baby," so they must come up with a plan for that child's living arrangements and regular visitations with the noncustodial parent. If parents are unable to come to an agreement, courts will decide the best course of action based on state child custody laws.

While "physical custody" refers to where the child lives, "legal custody" refers to the parents' abilities to make important life decisions for their child. All state custody laws adhere to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which is intended to prevent parental abductions and help state troopers cooperate across state lines.

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 Web site's Parenting and Custody section 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
Year Uniform Child Custody Act Adopted 1977
Factors Considered by the Court Before Awarding Custody
  • 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 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;
  • 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.
Joint Custody an Option? Yes, §25-20-060 "shared"
Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized? Yes, §25.24.150
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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