While mothers once had the upper hand in custody cases, today courts recognize the parental rights of both the mother and father when determining where a child should live.
If you are a father facing a divorce in Alaska, review the common considerations for child custody as you prepare to create a parenting agreement with your spouse.
Understanding factors in custody considerations
If you and your child’s other parent can agree on custody, you can create an arrangement that suits the entire family. When you cannot agree, however, you can ask the family court to decide. The judge in your case may consider:
- Whether either you or the child’s mother has a history of domestic abuse or neglect
- The relationship your child currently has with each parent, extended family members and siblings
- How well each of you can give the child a safe, stable home
- The child’s educational, physical and emotional needs
- The mental and physical health of each parent
Based on this information, the court strives to serve the child’s best interest when determining custody.
Seeking sole custody
You may want to seek primary physical custody of your children if you have safety concerns about the other parent’s household. Alaska provides both parents the equal right to shared custody except when evidence exists of substance abuse, domestic violence or other conduct that puts the child in danger. In this case, if you successfully petition the court for sole custody the judge may order supervised visitation.
Fathers can assert their right to custody by remaining involved with their children throughout the separation while providing regular care in a safe, stable household.