Many fathers in Alaska do not have physical custody of their children, but that does not mean they are uninvolved in their children’s lives. For example, many non-custodial parents share legal custody of the kids, meaning that they have a right to participate in the major decisions about a child’s upbringing, education and health care. In addition, many fathers who do not have custody do have extensive visitation rights and are paying child support to cover their kids’ expenses.

While some fathers do owe back child support, most non-custodial fathers are very committed to supporting their children’s growth and care. In addition, many fathers without custody are heavily involved in their children’s lives, education and activities, supporting their interests and enjoying a warm, loving relationship. In fact, most non-custodial parents work very hard to protect their parent-child relationships, even when they are made more difficult by circumstances or by actively negative behavior from the other parent.

Of course, there are many noncustodial mothers as well. Fathers have an equal right to seek physical custody of their children and to have either primary or joint custody. In fact, courts across the country are increasingly preferring joint custody as the standard, preferred custody option wherever possible, in a shift from the past. While many noncustodial fathers do not pursue physical custody because they see it as preferable for the child to not travel frequently from one home to another, shared or joint custody can also be a strong, workable option. This is especially true when both parents live in the same general area.

Fathers are critical to a child’s health and development, and they have the right to pursue custody and full involvement in their children’s lives. Anchorage, Alaska, family law attorneys for men can help fathers to deal with child support, custody issues and other key concerns and work to protect their parent-child relationship.