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What factors are used to determine child custody?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2020 | Family Law

Parents in Alaska can have a very difficult job in raising their children. They want to make sure they receive what they need day to day as well as what they need to grow into productive, responsible adults. So, as they are raising their children, they are required to make many difficult decisions. This may be easier to do when parents are still married and getting along, however, if parents are divorced, working together on the important decisions can be more difficult.

That is why child custody decisions must be made in a divorce to determine which parent will be making the decisions. Parents can reach an agreement on this issue and may agree to joint custody, but if they cannot reach an agreement a judge will ultimately make the decision for the parents.

When making custody decisions judges will analyze a number of factors to determine what is in the best interests of the children. These factors include, but are not limited to, physical, emotional, social and mental needs of the child; each parents’ ability and desire to provide for the child’s needs; the child’s relationship with each parent; the child’s wishes if they are old enough and mature enough to have a preference; how established the child is in their current living arrangements and school with a desire to keep things as stable as possible; whether there has been domestic abuse; whether a parent has substance abuse issues and many other factors.

Divorce is becoming more and more common in Alaska. As people go through a divorce there are many different issues that need to be resolved. One of the most emotional decisions that need to be made can be child custody determinations. They are also very fact specific decisions based on the unique circumstances of each marriage and family dynamics. Experienced attorneys understand the complexities of these decisions and may be able to guide one through the process.