Alaska Family Law Questions & Answers

Q: Ocs just overturned a substantiated finding of neglect. Can I now regain full custody as per the custody order?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Answered on Feb 8, 2019
Stefan Otterson's answer
This is a delicate area, in the sense that the consequences of a mis-step can be grave. I think any lawyer would hesitate to say yes or no without a thorough discussion of the facts and a review of the OCS paperwork. Even then, OCS can be unpredictable in how they interpret their actions and policies, so solid answers may be hard to get. The safest thing would be to hold of on bringing your daughter back to the home until you have a clear OK in writing from OCS.

Q: OCS took kids they are with family we have not been charged with anything yet. Can I leave the state to get this drop?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Answered on Dec 17, 2018
Stefan Otterson's answer
It's hard to tell from the limited details you give, but if OCS actually took your kids, then they have custody. You will probably be served with a Petition very soon. The OCS case does not require you to stay in the state, but you won't be able to take the children that OCS removed from your care. If you leave, it would make it much harder to get the kids back. When you talk about being charged, that sounds like a criminal case. That would be a completely separate court case from the...

Q: My granddaughter was taking from my daughter by OCS can I get her back

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Answered on Nov 29, 2018
Stefan Otterson's answer
There's not enough information in your question to say more than "maybe," but that's usually the answer anyway. There is a possibility that your daughter could get the child returned to her if she agrees to a safety plan and follows through. Even if OCS keeps custody, they will give her a case plan, and if she follows that, they will return the child to her. In the mean time, you can ask to be the placement for your granddaughter. They're supposed to give preference to relatives. If...

Q: OCS took my kid because I admitted to a previous urine analysis but am now in treatment

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Alaska on
Answered on Aug 18, 2018
Gary Kollin's answer
You should have an attorney by now either appointed or retained.

You should be directing these questions to your attorney

Q: My boyfriend is an addict with a history of domestic violence in previous relationship. Can I take our 2 kids and leave?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Alaska on
Answered on Jul 8, 2018
Stefan Otterson's answer
If you have no court order governing custody, you can do whatever is reasonable under the circumstances. However the father has equal rights, so you will need to get a court order. If there has been domestic violence, then you should get a restraining order. This is something you can do without a lawyer, as the courts have a simplified process for that type of case. There are forms for you to use and the court clerks are generally very helpful. The DV court can grant custody if it seems...

Q: Can I leave Alaska with my 2 month old child if not legally married?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Answered on Apr 30, 2018
Stefan Otterson's answer
There is nothing to prevent you from moving, if that's what you need to do. Just do it in a way that respects the father's rights. The best practice is to file a custody case before you go, and get interim approval from the court for your move. If you don't have the resources to do that, then move now and file for custody once you're settled. You should give the father your new contact info as soon as you can, and try to make it easy for him to visit as much as the distance will allow....

Q: We signed our daughter over to my mother after ocs battle and my mother won't let us be apart of my daughters life.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Alaska on
Answered on Apr 10, 2018
Stefan Otterson's answer
Your rights depend on the paperwork you signed. If you agreed to a guardianship then the visitation provisions in the order can be enforced, or if there are no specifics, then visitation can be reviewed by the court at your request, and visitation provisions can be added. If you signed a relinquishment so that your daughter could be adopted, then there is no option for court review unless you specifically reserved visitation rights in the relinquishment you signed, and the court included...

Q: Can the grandparent of minor child move out of state w/ child if the parent signed delegation of parental powers.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Answered on Mar 27, 2018
Stefan Otterson's answer
Yes, a delegation (also called a power of attorney) that gives the grandparent all the necessary authority, (medical, education, and travel, etc) should be sufficient. Many forms used for such purposes don't specifically mention out-of-state travel, so you might want to add that, just to be safe. Be aware that the delegation is generally only good for one year, so you would need to get it renewed periodically. Also be aware that the delegation can be revoked at any time by the signing...

Q: I wish to move away from home w/o parental permission, will i be able to do so without being brought home?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Alaska on
Answered on Feb 4, 2018
Stefan Otterson's answer
Generally, emancipation is the legal path that gives you the ability to do what you intend. It does require parental consent with some exceptions. There are a few alternatives, such as specific emancipation and guardianship. Alaska Youth Advocates has a handbook that goes through all the options:

http://www.akyouthadvocates.org/resources/

The Bar Association also has an excellent Youth Law Guide, which covers many other topics that may be useful to you:...

Q: Can I the mother leave ak with my child then file divorced from another state

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Alaska on
Answered on Jan 29, 2018
Stefan Otterson's answer
You are free to move wherever you want, as long as there's not already a divorce case pending. (To the extent it's safe, you should still provide whatever visitation you can with the other parent.)

You will need to check the divorce jurisdiction law in the state you're moving to. There's a chance you won't be able to do the divorce there, especially if child custody and property issues still have to be dealt with in Alaska. Child custody jurisdiction generally requires the children...

Q: I live in alaska and parental rights where taken from me. Is there any way i can get my rights back.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Answered on Jan 26, 2018
Stefan Otterson's answer
The adoptive parent has exactly the same rights as a parent. As the biological parent, you have no more rights than any unrelated person. Your best bet is to work with the adoptive parent, so that she will voluntarily allow you to have visits. If that's not possible, you may have no recourse, as long as the adoptive parent is providing minimally adequate care.

Q: Can I the mother with physical custody at this time leave the state of Alaska after filing for divorce

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Answered on Jan 25, 2018
Stefan Otterson's answer
Once you've filed and a divorce case is pending, you usually need to get a written agreement from the other parent or court permission to leave the state. You should check the details of the standard order that is issued at the time the Complaint is filed. Different courts may have different provisions in that initial order.

Q: My granddaughters was dropped off at my house by her mother. She refuses to help. Where do I stand legally.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Answered on Dec 23, 2017
Stefan Otterson's answer
If the mother is pressing her rights, you will have difficulty opposing her unless you get a court order granting you custody. In the mean time, you can enlist the help of the father, who presumably got custody at the hearing you referenced. He could give you a power of attorney for the older child if he got custody of both. Be sure to get a copy of his custody order along with the power of attorney. However, a power of attorney from one parent won't always stand up when the other parent is...

Q: I have a child that’s been living with me for 13 1/2 years. She isn’t my blood or my adopted child but is my daughter.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Adoption for Alaska on
Answered on Dec 17, 2017
Stefan Otterson's answer
The only permanent solution to this problem is adoption. That is something you would probably need legal help with, particularly if the legal parents are't cooperative. It is possible to do an adoption even if the legal parents aren't on board, but it might require a trial, which can be expensive if either of the legal parents contests it. You should schedule a consultation with an adoption lawyer. Once you've explained all the details, the lawyer will be able to give you your options and...

Q: Does my mom have rights to her grandchild even though they took my rights?they never contacted my mom about this.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Answered on Dec 9, 2017
Stefan Otterson's answer
Yes. Any blood relative would have priority over an unrelated foster home. Your mother needs to contact OCS and request placement. They should place with her as long as she has a clean record. If they don't, she can ask the court to order it, and OCS would have to explain why she's not suitable. Prevailing at such a hearing might require some legal help. However, if she can convince the social worker that she is a reliable person, there's a good chance she won't have to go through all...

Q: Daughter with dad riding in car high speed chace he got out ran and left her. Ocs took my kid can i get my rights back

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Answered on Dec 9, 2017
Stefan Otterson's answer
If you haven't already, contact OCS immediately. Ask them for your child. If they say no, ask for a copy of the Petition they have filed with the court. Take the Petition to the courthouse, and go to the Children's office in the basement. Show them the case number and ask for the paperwork to request appointment of an attorney. If you've missed the initial hearing, ask for the date of the next hearing. If it's too far away, ask for paperwork to request an immediate hearing....

Q: My boyfriend took our daughter to alaska

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Answered on Nov 24, 2017
Stefan Otterson's answer
Of course, you should first do everything you can to reach an agreement. You can't just assume that he has to come back. If you're not going to live in the same state, then you'll need to find a way to share custody. Neither of you gets to just keep your daughter. If you can't reach an agreement, you'll need to file a Custody Complaint. If the "visit" has been less than 6 months, then you would file in the Idaho courts. If your daughter has been in Alaska for more than 6 months, it gets...

Q: My boyfriend wants to move out of Alaska. Can he take the kids if there is no custody arrangement without kidnapping

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Answered on Nov 11, 2017
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
Yes, he can take the children to another state, but were she to sue him for custody the courts might possibly require him to pay the expense of moving them back.

Q: My daughters mother moved from Anchorage to TN. Who would be responsible for travel expenses back to AK for Christmas.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Family Law for Alaska on
Answered on Nov 11, 2017
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
Travel for the child, right? The party who moved the child (child's mother) would be responsible, normally, assuming that there is a judgment giving you visitation rights.

Q: If my custody order was modified and I was given full custody does that cancel out the details of my last order ?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Answered on Nov 3, 2017
Stefan Otterson's answer
Normally a modification order only affects the things it addresses, such as the custody schedule. If it doesn't include a new provision for PFD's etc, then the provision of the old order would continue in effect. Most modification orders will state that explicitly, but if the other matters weren't addressed at the modification hearing and the order is silent on how it affects the other provisions of the original order, then you can probably assume they remain in effect.

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