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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.

Reasons to modify an existing custody arrangement

According to Alaska law, you may only file to modify custody arrangements if substantial changes occur in your life, your ex-wife’s life or your child’s life that detrimentally affect the existing arrangement. Some examples of life changes include:

  • A job change that makes the pick-up and drop-off location difficult
  • Your child’s age does not reflect the current arrangement
  • Your ex-wife committed a criminal act and her license was suspended
  • Your child now attends school, and you want to make their home life easier by changing the nights of the week you have your child

You must have a valid reason to change the schedule. If you simply want to spend more time with your child, you may not receive a granted modification, but if you can show that the current plan does not work for you or your child, a judge may consider a change.

When considering, however, a judge always s of your child. Best interests include, but are not limited to:

  1. Your child’s emotional, physical and special needs
  2. Your child’s age and understanding
  3. Your and your ex-wife’s ability to care and provide for your child
  4. Your and your ex-wife’s relationship with your child
  5. The length of time your child has lived in a secure, scheduled environment

You hold the right, as a parent with joint custody, to bring a motion to change the current custody arrangement with your child. Though a judge in Alaska will always consider your child’s best interests first, if you can draft a sound document explaining the need for changes, he or she will likely hear and grant your appeal for modification.

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