The conclusion of your divorce proceedings in Anchorage certainly marks the end of a particular chapter in your life. At the same time, it also signals the beginning of a whole new period in which you and your ex-spouse must work together to continue raising your children.
New challenges are sure to arise as you move forward with this. One of these may be your ex-spouse having the opportunity to move away from the local community (or to another state altogether). Such a move would no doubt impact your custody or visitation schedule. The question then becomes whether you can do anything about it.
Modifying your custody agreement
The website for the Alaska Court System lists relocation as one of the reasons for which it permits the modification of a child custody arrangement. What this means is that if and when your ex-spouse chooses to move away, the issue the courts will decide is typically not whether it should permit the relocation, but rather whether the move warrants modifying your custody agreement.
When making this decision, the court puts the best interests of your child above all else. Some of the factors it considers include:
- The kids’ physical, emotional and educational needs
- Their relationships with both you and your ex-spouse
- Their relationships with siblings and extended family
- Your’s and your ex-spouse’s respective abilities to provide a stable home environment
- Any history of abuse in your case
Working with your ex-spouse prior to a proposed relocation
Your desire to object to your ex-spouse’s move is understandable if it will affect your time with your kids. However, it can also introduce tension and contention into your family. A better solution may be to sit down with your ex-spouse to come up with your own modified custody arrangement. If you the court your modifications were collaborative, it will typically respect your wishes.