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Alaska Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Alaska on
Q: I moved back home in 2012 to care for my grandparents during their last days it's been 5 yrs since my grandma has passed

My grandpa is 88 suffering of alztimers ive had no help from any family what rights do I have when he dies concerning his house can I pay off the morguage and stay here if my family wants to kick me out

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jun 17, 2017

If your grandparents had validly executed (while they were still mentally competent) wills, their estate passes by the terms of the wills. If not, by the intestacy statutes. I don't believe there is anything that would compensate you for taking care of them.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Foster parents rights to adoption what are the legal options?

We have had a child for 3 years since she came out of the NICU at 41 days. She was born addicted to heroin. Her mother has only seen her three times in almost three years. They have 15 months to show improvement. No relatives were found in Alaska to take her and out of the blue one shows up a great... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
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Stefan Otterson
answered on May 31, 2017

You should first do everything you can to work things out with the social worker. If possible, you should try to get the guardian ad litem to advocate in your favor. If you have no luck with the social worker, go up the chain to his/her supervisor, and on up. OCS has broad discretion to make... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: What does "I further allege the following as my affirmation defenses" mean in a divorce answer filing?
Stefan Otterson
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Stefan Otterson
answered on May 7, 2017

It probably means the person who wrote the Answer was trying to sound legal. He/she probably meant "affirmative" defenses. Certain types of defenses need to be specifically listed in an Answer. If a party lists them, it just preserves the right to argue them later. However, most of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Can someone who has had their parental rights terminated from all of their children, adopt another child?

My mom and I take care of my sisters children who have been placed with us for a while now under her foster care license. Someone told me that if a parent has had their rights terminated, that they can not adopt a child. I was just wondering if this is true.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 20, 2017

No. The court would look into the reason for the TPR, but it would be a case-by-case determination.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Hi my sister who is legally age took mostly all of my belongings without permission and packed them up while i was away

What charges can i press in Alaska on her?

I am 22.

Stefan Otterson
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Stefan Otterson
answered on Mar 21, 2017

Although you are family members, neither of you has an obligation to the other that goes beyond what two strangers would have. This isn't a matter of family law. You could report your sister's acts to the police, or you could bring a civil lawsuit yourself. Unless the property value... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: I live on property that my father owns. I want to be sure that I get this property if he passes.

He wants to leave the property to me as my husband and I have a small home business here. If he leaves it to me in a will is that all we would need?

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III
answered on Feb 26, 2017

Generally, your father, if he is still mentally competent and capable of forming testamentary intent, can make a will leaving his property to whomever he wishes. If he agrees with you, have him make a will leaving you the property. If he doesn't make a will, you alone would inherit the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: Can I hire a attorney that does unbundling service and then hire that same attorney to be at the hearing or trial?

I found a couple of Alaska Family Law Attorneys that offer full representations and unbundling services.

Can I hire a attorney for unbundling services to file motions, then hire that same attorney later to fully represent me in court?

If I hire a unbundling service attorney and I... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
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Stefan Otterson
answered on Feb 15, 2017

Yes, both those things are possible. That is, they are not prohibited by any ethics rules, etc. However, you would need to ask the particular lawyer whether he/she is willing to move from unbundled assistance to full representation and a court appearance. Some are and some aren't. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights and Domestic Violence for Alaska on
Q: Can they take my kids because I was going to the battered woman's shelter?
Stefan Otterson
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Stefan Otterson
answered on Feb 13, 2017

No, there must be evidence of abuse or neglect, or failure to protect from abuse at the hands of another. That may or may not be present when a battered woman's shelter is involved. If there has been domestic violence, the question is whether the children have been exposed to it, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: I have sent my spouse dissolution papers many times but she either won't sign them or keeps changing them. What do I do?
Stefan Otterson
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Stefan Otterson
answered on Dec 9, 2016

First, I assume you have talked to your spouse about it, found out why he/she won't sign, and decided it's something you can't agree to. Either that or he/she refuses to communicate with you.

If that's the case, then you will have to file a normal divorce complaint....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: I am interested in adopting my stepchildren but their father (my wife's ex) is still in the picture.

Can I still adopt them?

Stefan Otterson
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Stefan Otterson
answered on Oct 25, 2016

You can only adopt if the biological father consents, or he drops out of the picture (no contact with the child and/or no child support) for more than six months to a year.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: Does one of us need to request to cancel hearing? Or do we need to appear? What will happen if the hearing goes forward?

My ex filed a motion to modify custody. I opposed. Mediation was ordered. We agreed on one son, but not the other. The hearing was set for July 25 @ 2:15pm. Since then, we were able to reach an agreement: we agreed to keep our original custody and modify to reflect my move to Australia with both... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
PREMIUM
Stefan Otterson
answered on Jul 22, 2016

It's hard to know what would happen if you fail to attend the hearing. If you want to make sure the agreement is accepted by the court and turned into an updated custody order, you need to attend. If you are comfortable just relying on the agreement without getting the order changed, then... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: My daughter is visiting me in alaska from California, she is 6 and complains that her older cousin is touching her

The mother moved to New York and wants are daughter to live withher ant the cousins mother I don't want to send her back , what can I do ?

Stefan Otterson
PREMIUM
Stefan Otterson
answered on Jul 14, 2016

You should report what the child told you to the state child protective services agency in New York. The agency should investigate and might obtain a custody order if they find that the mother will not be protective. The agency would then be in control, and they might place the child with you,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: My girlfriend was arrested and I want to know what I need to so to get custody of kids.

We had a child together and have shared custody but she has her own son that I would like to get custody of and would like to know what I need to do. She was arrested and taken into custody.

Stefan Otterson
PREMIUM
Stefan Otterson
answered on Jul 10, 2016

There are three ways you can approach this. You can get her to sign a power of attorney (delegation of parental rights), which would allow you to take them to the doctor, sign them into school, etc. This would have no effect on the father's rights, however. If you aren't able to work... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: what is the process of relocation out of the state of florida prior to divorce with children?

Relocation from Orlando, Florida to Washington State - mother has an excellent employment record and is the provider, father is on 6th job plus within five years, children are under the age of 5, mother can relocate with job, father has been aware of moving plans for the past two years and is now... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 24, 2016

She needs to ask the court for an order allowing her to move.

I'm curious: what does this have to do with Alaska law, if she wants to move to Washington? It is a matter of Florida law.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: mother wishes to relocate Florida- Washington two children from the marriage (adultery) what steps should be taken

Mother relocating from Orlando, Florida to parents first in Alaska until she can secure residence in Washington. Father is being elusive but suggestive that he may bar her from leaving. They are most likely divorcing - mother not sure if she should file within the summer months of being in Alaska... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 24, 2016

You have similar issues in another question which I just answered. I now see that you are planning to move to Alaska for a time and ultimately to Washington state. You should be aware of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Support Act, which is the law in all of the states involved. It... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: If my ex got temporary custody of my daughter by a judge is he allowed to still to take her out of the state or country

We were fighting for custody of my daughter I missed a court date so the judge granted him temporary custody and he decided to take her out of the state and out of the country he is now in Mexico with their what can I do to get back my daughter if by law he has custody

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 6, 2016

In most places in Alaska there is a standing order prohibiting one party to a divorce from removing the children without court permission. It appears that he has violated such order.

Enforcing this in Mexico, however, will be difficult, obviously. I suggest that you contact a lawyer in...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: What if the custodial parent leaves child in my city with her mom who has no custody. Shouldnt he be with me?

Hes been here for six months originally with me but grandma got him from school and now mom is refusing him to stay with me but is not in state.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 5, 2016

This post is very confusing. Let me make some guesses and see if that is accurate:

You are the father of the child (your son). The mother (custodial parent) has left the boy with his maternal grandmother instead of with you.

A custodial parent may delegate custodial rights to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: A mother(i believe)fled the state of Alaska to Ohio to avoid having a father on the birth certificate.Do I have options?

So that I would not have any rights to the baby....funny that Ohio says that i must pay child support to a mother that kidnaps an unborn child out of state because she believes that Ohio is on her side in this matter?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Mar 30, 2016

Yes, you certainly have options: you can sue the mother for custody or visitation. Assuming that the child was born in Ohio, you would have to sue in Ohio, pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (which is the law in both pertinent states).

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: If a mother has full legal and physical custody of her children, can she move with her children from Alaska?

Biological father was notified and had contact with children, was behind on child support, and is now threatening to have me arrested for kidnapping if I take him to court to go after proper child support.

Stefan Otterson
PREMIUM
Stefan Otterson
answered on Jul 10, 2016

If a mother has full legal and physical custody, then there must be a custody order. That order spells out the father's visitation rights and child support is already be established. If the mother goes back to court for enforcement or modification, it absolutely does not constitute... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Can I use a convo with my ex recorded in Alaksa for a hearing in Florida? Both parties were in Alaksa when it happened.

I recorded a convo with my ex when she lived in Alaska. We were both in the state of Alaska and I did not tell her she was being recorded. Can I still use that against her even though I live in Florida?

Stefan Otterson
PREMIUM
Stefan Otterson
answered on Jul 10, 2016

Technically recording such a conversation is legal in Alaska. It may not be in Florida, and it may be hard for a Florida judge to stomach admitting something that would be illegal in his state. It's also risky to use such recordings in court - it makes you look bad. The best approach is to... Read more »

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