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Alaska Family Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Family Law for Alaska on

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

Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Nov 11, 2017

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.

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

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

The old custody agreement had split custody and talked about the details regarding pfd’s, taxes, sharing of address, daycare names, that sort of stuff. The new order gives me full legal custody and him supervised visits 3x a month in a public place for 4 hours each time. It does not discuss... Read more »

Stefan Otterson answered on Nov 3, 2017

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Juvenile Law, Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on

Q: My 17 year old is being criminally detained in juvenile detention. In this scenerio have my rights been terminated?

I have sole legal custody & primary physical of all 4 kids with my felon ex in another state getting visitation. My son & ex believe that I have lost custody in this scenerio & that I cant put my son into residential treatment or theraputic foster care (Im not comfortable with him returning home... Read more »

Stefan Otterson answered on Nov 2, 2017

Your rights have not been terminated, and your custody order remains in effect. Physical custody may have been temporarily given to the state (though there's a big difference between temporary detention pending trial, and being committed to a facility at the final disposition hearing). The state... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Alaska on

Q: The only proof that I have that my father is my father is on the death certificate with my name on it as daughter.

Will this be enough to prove that he is my father?

Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Oct 24, 2017

Probably not. If he had signed it, it might be regarded as an admission, but of course dead people don't sign their own death certificates. Is there any of your father's DNA available?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Family Law for Alaska on

Q: my BM refuse to have my son at the airport because she wants everyone in the hospital with her while she is giving birth

We have a court order saying i get him for summers and every other Christmas for 3 weeks.But this year i get him for 5 weeks because she picked him up early during my summer visitation. The judge told us to figure out the dates. she said any day is fine. I told her it was going to be after my... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Oct 7, 2017

I gather she expects to give birth at the same time the child is supposed to board the plane, and no one else is "available" to bring him to the airport. If you want to be more proactive, file a motion ASAP.

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

Q: How do I get custody of my daughter if I know she's in an unsafe environment with her mother?

My ex has a drug problem and has been in and out of rehab multiple times. She has lost her government assistance and has no job to my knowledge. My 2 year daughter is picking up bad habits because my ex smokes weed, cigarettes, and possible other substances in front of her. My ex also has... Read more »

Stefan Otterson answered on Sep 2, 2017

If you already have a custody order, file a Motion to Modify Custody. If you don't have a custody order yet, file a Complaint for Custody. The court system has forms online for this purpose. DR-411 is the Complaint, and DR-700 is the Motion to Modify.

It wouldn't hurt to talk to a lawyer...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Alaska on

Q: If I enroll in college before I turn 18 can my mother remove me from college for any reason

I would apply for federal aid

Stefan Otterson answered on Jul 23, 2017

This may be a matter of policy at the particular college you pick. In general, until you turn 18 your parents have legal custody of you. This means they have decision making authority, and they are the ones who are supposed to sign admissions paperwork, etc. However, some organizations make... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Alaska on

Q: will says my mother gets the house and it's to stay in family mom and uncle refuse to sell me house but want sold

Can I stop them from selling the house since Ive lived here for almost 6 yrs taking care of my grandparents they won't let me buy it they have a power struggle issue and won't even give it another thought and I have the means to pay it off alztimers disease is horrible

Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jun 25, 2017

You have failed to indicate what, if any, claim you have to the house. If the will was probated, and the house conveyed to your mother and uncle, you have no right to force them to sell it to you.

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 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 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 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 them have... 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 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 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 was very... 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 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 property... 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 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 should... 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 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 whether you... 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 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. Unless you choose to...
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 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 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 you... 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 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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