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Anchorage Family Law Blog For Men

Parallel parenting and child custody

Child custody arrangements in Alaska can take several forms. Sole custody is rare, but a court will order it if it's in the child's best interests. In most cases, however, some level of joint custody will be ordered. The court's decision when ordering joint custody often comes down to the ability and willingness of the parents to co-parent their children. Co-parenting is heavily dependent on quality communication and respect between the parents. If the parents can't work with one another, a parallel parenting situation may develop.

Parallel parenting is a structure in which the parents each want relationships with the children but don't get along well enough to co-parent. In such an arrangement, the parents remain connected with the kids but they disengage from one another. Furthermore, each parent should endeavor not to interfere with the other's relationship with the kids. In order to make a parallel parenting arrangement work, the parents should address potential conflicts, make a plan and practice mutual respect.

Tax tips for going through a divorce

Married couples who are separating in Alaska should be aware that tax laws regarding alimony will change for divorce agreements that are completed after the end of 2018. Starting on Jan. 1, 2019, alimony will no longer be tax-deductible for payers or tax-payable for recipients. Experts say that this is likely to mean less money for both parties.

Some couples are dealing with this by trying to finalize divorce agreements before the end of the year. Those who are taking this route should know exactly what they and their spouse will need in the property division process. While the agreement can be drawn up quickly, it is also possible to modify it later if either person decides they are unhappy.

Could your Active Duty status hurt your chances for custody?

If you are currently fighting for custody, your active duty status could affect your case.

Although a servicemember is always prepared, it is difficult to predict the outcomes of a child custody hearing much less when you may be called to duty. If you are concerned that your Active Duty status could work against you, you should know your legal rights.

Divorce and dividing assets

Couples in Alaska who are getting a divorce should understand how dividing certain types of assets will affect them tax-wise. For example, many spouses do not pursue their share of other assets in order to retain ownership of the family home. However, because of changes in the tax law, it could more expensive than they thought to own the home.

According to the tax law, individuals can only deduct $10,000 a year in local and state taxes. This means that homeowners will have increased taxes if they reside in states that have high property taxes. People getting a divorce should also be aware that the interest in home equity loans and home equity lines of credit can no longer be deducted if they do not use the funds in order to purchase, construct or substantially enhance the home. If the home equity line is used for some other reason, such as paying off credit card bills, the interest cannot be deducted.

Child custody orders and visitation

Parents in Alaska who want to spend more time with their children may need to petition a court for more visitation. If visitation has been denied by the court or by a custodial parent, there are several things that non-custodial parents can do.

It is rare for courts to deny a biological parent all visitation. In some cases, a parent may be denied visitation if the court believes that they pose a threat to a child's mental or emotional well-being. Most of the time a parent can request a modification of an order suspending visitation after completing requirements imposed by a court such as drug testing, parenting classes or anger management.

Advantages of joint custody

Many parents in Alaska are not thrilled when they find out that they are expected by the family court to share custody of their kids. However, splitting physical custody can be the most ideal arrangement for not only the children but also the parents.

Both parents will be responsible for disciplining the children. This means that the parents will have to collaborate with one another and support each other regarding the creation and enforcement of house rules. Being able to depend on the other parent when it comes to discipline can be particularly helpful as the children grow older and are tempted to discover how far they can test authority.

Regaining custody of a child

Alaska fathers who have lost custody of their children may be able to get it back. The first step in the process is to determine why custody was taken away. In some cases, it may be because a father violated a court order or is being accused of abusing or neglecting the child. Therefore, a judge determined that it wasn't in the child's best interest for a dad to retain custody.

In some cases, the court will place conditions on how or when a dad can regain custody of his children. For instance, it may be possible to get custody back after completing counseling or completing a drug or alcohol treatment plan. In many cases, simply adhering to a court order is the fastest and most effective way to get custody back in a timely manner.

Modifying a child custody arrangement

If your and your ex-wife’s circumstances have changed, and your custody agreement no longer is feasible, you have the authority to modify the custody order in Alaska. Keeping the best interests of your child in mind, Alaska judges will diligently review the request and either approve or deny the claim.

You must provide clear evidence to support that the change in custody will provide a better schedule or arrangement for your child. To ensure you file all necessary documents and bring required proof, you may wish to speak with a father’s rights attorney to create the best case for custody adjustment. Know that if you can give the court adequate reasoning, judges will determine that a revisit of the custody arrangement will prove best for all parties involved.

How new alimony tax rules may affect retirement savings

Because of changes related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), alimony payers in Alaska will no longer be allowed to deduct payments for tax purposes. Recipients will also no longer have to pay taxes on payments. Additionally, the TCJA rule changes will affect retirement account options for divorced couples on either side of the alimony equation. However, the new law will not apply to alimony arrangements already in place before the TCJA officially goes into effect.

With alimony payment through retirement funds under existing rules, a spouse would have to pay to receive a deduction. But with a proper divorce agreement, funds could be transferred from retirement accounts in a way that benefits the paying spouse. If an ex-spouse makes payments from an IRA, for instance, they will be using funds that would have otherwise been taxed if they had been withdrawn. The receiving party, however, would have to pay tax on money taken from the IRA. Such transfers are one-time transactions that would need to spelled out in a divorce agreement.

Men may need fathers' rights attorneys when children are involved

When an Alaska couple has children together, things can get complicated if the pair decides to separate. Whether they want to maintain contact with their children or not, Alaskan fathers face a whole set of challenges.

Establishing paternity can be important in more ways than one. Sometimes, establishing paternity is important in child support cases, especially if a man wants to contest it so he doesn't have to pay support to a child who could be someone else's. If the couple is unmarried and the mother wants to put the child up for adoption but the man doesn't, establishing paternity gives the father a say in the matter. Establishing paternity also gives the father the right to agree to the adoption. Paternity may be involved in child visitation and inheritance issues.

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