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Alaska Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Can I take my child back from a guardian before court date. I’m trying to move
Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Aug 24, 2021

The short answer is no. You are not allowed to take back custody without court permission. However, depending on the facts and the terms of the guardianship order, there may be a way to take the child with you, as long as the court hearing is coming up in the near future. You should have an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Civil Rights and Gov & Administrative Law for Alaska on
Q: Who to contact regarding Alaska OCS repeatedly failing to appear for court for hearing to determine return of children?

The assigned attorney fails to give briefings before the hearings and fails to offer any advice. She is pretty much just a County paid paper pusher.

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Jul 21, 2021

When you or your attorney calls OCS, you can generally ask for the immediate supervisor of the assigned worker. If that doesn't work, you can usually get the next person up. Keep going as far as you can. If necessary, try the Juneau main office. In some cases, the state Ombudsman can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Can my boyfriend and father of my child kick me out of my home if he owns the house
Phyllis Shepherd
Phyllis Shepherd answered on Jul 17, 2021

If your boyfriend has a domestic violence order against you, the court may grant him temporary custody of the minor . child and the court may order you to leave the home. Without a domestic violence protective order, If your boyfriend owns the home and if you were a tenant in his home and you did... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Will my child’s birth father be granted shared custody?

My child’s birth father left state when our child was 1. She’s turning 6 this year. He has had a few FaceTime calls , does not pay child support, and can go months without contact to now over two years before out of the blue asking how she is and not contacting for weeks again. We do not have a... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Jun 3, 2021

In a custody case, nothing is certain. However, it is quite hard to get full legal and physical custody with no visitation unless the other parent has a criminal sexual abuse conviction or has a history of domestic violence, etc. Even then visitation would often be allowed, but supervised. A... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: My son's soon to be ex wife will not allow him to see or talk to his children.

He is working on starting divorce proceedings but has not seen his children since his soon to be ex-wife kicked him out of their home three weeks ago in the middle of the night. Their children went to bed and dad lived in the home, the next morning dad did not. Up until this happened he was... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on May 18, 2021

First try to use persuasion. Let the wife know that divorce paperwork will be filed very soon. Let her know the court will be looking at each parent's behavior, and her denying contact with the children might reflect very poorly on her. Encourage her to talk to an attorney, who will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: When is the first full week of a month?
Phyllis Shepherd
Phyllis Shepherd answered on May 5, 2021

I have seen child custody decrees that allow the parents to define what the first full week of the month means for purposes of the decree. For example, the parents can agree that the first full week of the month starts with the first Sunday of the month followed by six consecutive days.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Ex. wife wrote a letter to the judge and I after her motion was denied.

The letter was full of slander and comments aimed at destroying my character. In the original motion my ex. asked to have the kids during the school day. Her motion was denied. She also stated my payments are not current for her credit card. The judge asked her to provide proof of this. Instead, of... Read more »

Phyllis Shepherd
Phyllis Shepherd answered on May 5, 2021

It is an ex parte communication to the judge, but if it is made part of the court file available for public viewing, then you could file a motion to make this letter to the judge confidential or sealed under Alaska Administrative Rule 37.6 ( b)(2) dealing with privacy interests.

The...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: My kids were homeschooled by both parents in our separate homes this year. I can't make this accommodation next year.

Our divorce began as COVID 19 started. My ex. and I pulled the kids from in person learning as the schools COVID rates were sorted out. Fast forward to now, we have 1 case every few weeks in our small rural Alaskan village and the school has implemented an effective mitigation plan keeping kids... Read more »

Phyllis Shepherd
Phyllis Shepherd answered on Apr 28, 2021

I will assume that you do not have a court order granting either parent sole legal custody. Assuming both of you are equally good parents, courts prefer that equally good parents cooperate for the best interests of the children. Pediatricians and other health care professionals recognize the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: The father of my child fled the state of Maine to Alaska. We had an agreement that she could go visit him for the summer

She had a round trip ticket. He didn’t send her home and filed for full custody first. Will the judge look at him as unfit for the child involved because of his impulsive choices? We have never had an issue with sharing our child or anything through the courts

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Dec 10, 2020

It sounds like you do not have a custody order in any state, and you had an informal agreement. Yes, violation of a well documented agreement might weigh against the parent who violates it, especially if it creates anxiety for the child, who may not now know where she will be living from one day... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: My ex girlfriend and i have 2 children together.there is no legal custody agreement.i have always had them on the weeken

Weekends holidays and most of the summer.the kids want to be with me more but when i go to pick them up there mother locks the door and wont let them out of her house is that legal?also what can i do about it and what are my rights as a father

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Apr 7, 2020

Your rights are exactly the same as the mother's. However, there's nothing to spell out what that means. If the two of you don't agree how to manage in that completely undefined environment, then either of you can file a Complaint for Custody with the court. Ideally you would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Criminal Law and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Can we move out of state with our child and have the cases transferred

Our son is a child in need of aid but the court granted us full custody and rights over our child. We were in the process of moving to Texas to be with family can we still move and have our case transferred. We have another hearing in 6 months and how fast can we leave

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Oct 10, 2019

More information is needed to answer you question. Child custody jurisdiction usually requires that you and the child reside in the new state for at least 6 months before that state can handle custody matters. However, that's not automatic, and if the other parent still resides in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Civil Rights for Alaska on
Q: My 19 month old was taken without notification an unfounded. How do I get her back now?!

My 19 year old daughter took my 19 month old for an overnight visit she went to OCS and she said the father and I are on heroin which is unfounded and a lie we both have random UA's for different reasons. him-Court reasons and myself-my doctor. it is a completely false allegation my daughter... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Jul 22, 2019

Call OCS (269-4000 if you're in Anchorage). Give your child's name and ask to be connected with the assigned social worker. You'll probably get voicemail, so leave all your contact info and let him/her know you have not received notice. If you don't reach the social worker... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: My husband works away from the home for weeks at a time and has left us how can I get him counseling so we dont divorce?

My husband just decided that I’m evil and he doesn’t love me but I know he does he runs away from his family he won’t talk to any of us his wife or kid he left me with the house which I can’t afford I was a stay at home mom for 15 years and he forced me into a job I have no education and I... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Jun 10, 2019

There really isn't any legal process you can use to prevent a divorce from happening or to force a spouse into counseling. If he does file a divorce complaint and custody is at issue, the court will sometimes order a party (more often both parties) to be evaluated, but that's only if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Ocs just overturned a substantiated finding of neglect. Can I now regain full custody as per the custody order?

My live-in boyfriend is still in the appeal process for a substantiated sexual abuse finding with "no further intervention"

Is it ok to bring my daughter back into the home without the worry of ocs?

The overturned neglect finding was for me.

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Feb 8, 2019

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
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?

They are saying Im neglectful and my husband is the abuser of the child 2 children are mine and the three little ones are ours. we will be charged Thursday, so I'm I allowed to leave the state with the children or will the children to be able to the state with family. Trying to see the best... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Dec 17, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alaska on
Q: My granddaughter was taking from my daughter by OCS can I get her back
Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Nov 29, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Alaska on
Q: OCS took my kid because I admitted to a previous urine analysis but am now in treatment

They gave my daughter to the parents of the father in which I have a restraining order on. Can they do that? I am a very good mother and always have been

Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin answered on Aug 18, 2018

You should have an attorney by now either appointed or retained.

You should be directing these questions to your attorney

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Alaska on
Q: My boyfriend is an addict with a history of domestic violence in previous relationship. Can I take our 2 kids and leave?

I will move 45 miles away to my mothers home. What steps should I take to protect myself and my children and my mother from possible retaliation? I want to know for sure that he can't use my children to manipulate and control me after I get away from him. I'm poor and I have no financial... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Jul 8, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska on
Q: Can I leave Alaska with my 2 month old child if not legally married?

I have a new baby with my boyfriend. The relationship is struggling and he repeatedly has asked me to leave. I don't have anywhere to go. My family is in Texas. I cannot financially provide for my child and need to move home with my family where there will be financial help and my mother... Read more »

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Apr 30, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Alaska on
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.

Can we get visitations established or does she have the right to basically turn us away. She lied to us and agreed we would be apart of her life but only let's us see her 1 time every 2 months

Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson answered on Apr 10, 2018

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... Read more »

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