Anchorage Family Law Blog For Men

Fathers can help their kids to deal with divorce

Many fathers in Alaska may be concerned about the impact of divorce on their relationship with their children. Being separated from and losing his or her connection with his or her kids can be a major concern for any divorcing parent, but especially for fathers. However, keeping some key guidelines in mind throughout the process should help fathers build a supportive environment for their children that fosters the relationship long after the divorce is finalized.

Experts recommend that parents check in with their children to make sure that they are not blaming themselves for the divorce. It is very common for children to think that the divorce is their fault even when the issues involved are solely between the adults in the relationship. It can also be important for parents to ask their kids' teachers and other adult figures in their lives about how their children seem to be dealing with the divorce. The kids should also be encouraged to continue their activities and interests, and providing children with fun distractions can also help them cope.

Property division in a divorce: top 4 factors Alaska judges use


As soon as individuals marry, they begin to acquire assets. Many purchase their first home, buy vehicles, and start investing in retirement accounts. Unfortunately, for a wide variety of reasons, marriages simply don’t work out.

Military divorce rates steady but marriages down

Military service members in Alaska may experience challenges that put pressure on their marital relationships. The Pentagon tracks marriages and divorces among military personnel, and it reported no significant change in the overall divorce rate among military personnel between 2016 and 2017.

Out of 689,060 married troops, 21,290 people completed divorces in fiscal year 2017. For 2016, 22,500 divorces occurred among a population of 707,230 married service members. These figures place the annual divorce rate at about 3 percent, but differences emerge when looking at the data by gender. Female military members get divorced much more often than their male colleagues. Within the Army, women have a divorce rate 275 percent higher than men. Women in the Marine Corps have the highest rate of divorce currently at 7.1 percent. A researcher with Rand Corp. said that the data suggests that policies within the Marine Corps could make it difficult for women to maintain marriages.

Fathers may be entitled to custody too

While mothers may be thought of as the principal caretaker in a child's life, this is not always the case. As a general rule, fathers in Alaska and throughout the United States have the right to seek custody of their children. Obtaining custody allows them to make decisions for their children. The ideal scenario may be one in which parents share custody. However, this isn't always feasible.

In some cases, it is in the child's best interest for one parent to have sole custody. Depending on the facts of a case, that parent may be the father. Custody arrangements are generally created after looking at the ability of both parents to provide for their children. In some cases, the child may be allowed the opportunity to provide input regarding the matter. However, the gender of the parent seeking custody is not supposed to come into play when making a decision.

The 5 mistakes men make in divorce

Whether you initiated the divorce or she did, divorce is still difficult. Robin Williams once said that divorce is like pulling your heart out through your wallet. As bad as it is, there are some common mistakes men can make that will actually make things worse.

Before you read through what not do during a divorce, there are several things that you probably should be doing:

Circumstances that influence visitation rights for fathers

Family courts in Alaska determine visitation and custody arrangements for parents who are seeking a divorce or were never married. People have the right to create a visitation schedule between themselves without a court having to impose a decision. Their separation or divorce agreements could explain the scheduling and duration of visitations. These are known as reasonable visitation rights because they were worked out by parents capable of communicating and cooperating.

Fixed visitation describes the rights that are established when a judge must step in and settle a dispute. The court will decide the visitation schedule. Sometimes a court will need to determine the location where visitation occurs. Fixed visitation schedules could grant a parent access during school summer vacation, holidays or on weekends.

Rights of grandparents in Alaska

In the state of Alaska, a grandparent may be entitled to either custody or visitation rights to a grandchild. However, state law does note that the child's parents will be granted custody over a non-parent if possible. Generally, grandparents can get custody if the parent is unfit or if there is a child welfare issue if the non-parent is not granted custody.

Grandparents may get visitation rights to a child if there is evidence that not doing so would be detrimental to the child. In most cases, visitation is only granted if it can be shown that there is a relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild. Furthermore, it must be established that not allowing the relationship to continue would not be in the best interest of the child. If there is an ongoing custody case between the parents of the children, the grandparent may request to be added to that case.

Paternity can establish your right to raise your child

Alaska fathers may not have been married when their children were born, but that does not mean they aren't rightful parents. If you break up with the mother, however, you might not be able to see your child again unless you take legal action.

The law does not guarantee you custody or visitation rights until you establish paternity. Paternity is your legal connection to your child. This label confirms that you are the father and deserve the same parenting rights as a married spouse.

Men don't have to go it alone

Men take on a lot when they face divorce - too much, really. Concerns about finances, visitation and child support, and who gets what when the property from the marriage is divided up.

Men tend to think, "I can handle this by myself. I don't need to burden anyone else with this problem."

Domestic abuse can strike men, too

Domestic abuse is far too common. It is not just violence, and it includes all forms of controlling and isolating behavior on the part of a domestic partner. Psychological abuse can be far more damaging than physical, too.

If you are in an abusive situation it's important that you get out of the situation as quickly as possible. For men, that can be more difficult and it is always more embarrassing. But it has to end. Once you have separated, you will probably need good representation to help sort out the legal and financial issues related to getting out, but that comes later.

You are not alone. We are here for you. Let us be your voice.

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