Child Custody & Support
Located in Anchorage, the Law Office of Maryann E. Foley represents clients in family law matters, including delicate issues concerning child custody and support. We are dedicated to helping separating families develop workable custody and support arrangements that meet the needs of both children and parents.
Determining Child Custody & Support
Issues of child custody, visitation, and support are no longer automatically decided in favor of the mother during a divorce proceeding. Rather, Alaska courts look at many issues in order to determine the custody and support arrangement that is in the best interests of the children involved, including but not limited to:
- The physical, emotional, mental, religious, and social needs of the child
- The capability and desire of each parent to meet those needs
- The child's preference as to custody 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 desire and ability of each parent to allow an open and loving frequent relationship between the child and the other parent
- Any evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect in the household where child custody has been proposed, 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
It is important to understand that child custody and support arrangements can offer many more options than were available in the past. At one end of the spectrum, we can help clients gain sole physical custody, receiving support from the other parent who sees the children based on a regular visitation schedule. At the opposite extreme, it is possible for parents to have full joint custody in which each parent resides with the children based on a specific schedule, alternating visitation rights accordingly.
Interstate Custody Jurisdiction
Child custody issues are often difficult even when the case is confined to the state of Alaska; however, when a custody case crosses state lines, additional issues and conflicts may arise. We frequently handle interstate custody jurisdiction matters, and are well versed in this potentially complex area of family law.
The goal of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is to limit the infighting that often accompanies interstate custody cases by providing clear guidelines to determine which state has jurisdiction over a particular case. Furthermore, the Act forces other states to respect the custody decision of the state with jurisdiction, so that parents cannot seek a more favorable determination in another state. According to the Act, a state has jurisdiction over custody if the child:
- Has lived in that state for six months or longer
- Was living in the state before being taken elsewhere by a parent seeking custody in another state
- Has established relationships with people, such as teachers or relatives, in the state
- Has been abandoned
- Is safe in the current state but may be in danger of abuse or neglect in his or her home state
We are knowledgeable about the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act and the complicated issue of whether Alaska courts will have jurisdiction over your custody matter.
Seek Experienced Representation
The best interest of the children is the primary concern in any divorce, but finding the right solution can be extremely difficult for both the parents and the children. We possess the legal skill, experience, and compassion to bridge the gap between the wishes of both parents. Please contact the Law Office of Maryann E. Foley for more information about child custody and support issues.