Alaska Parenting Plans and Custody Agreements

How do I make my parenting plan / child custody agreement?

You can write up your own parenting plan (on your own or with the other parent) or you can work with an attorney or legal professional and have them create it. If you don't want to pay the high cost of an attorney, and want to easily make your own agreement, you can use the Custody X Change software.

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What do I need to include in my Alaska plan?

A custody agreement or parenting plan should contain:

  • A custody and visitation schedule that shows when the child will be with each parent
  • A plan for dividing legal custody that describes which parent is responsible for deciding what
  • A plan for how the parents will resolve disputes
  • A method for modifying the plan without going to court if things change
  • Any parenting rules you wish to include, such as rules for exchanging the child or rules about discipline

If you use Custody X Change to create your parenting plan, all you have to do is fill in the information and the software will create the proper documents.

The visitation schedule (in both written and calendar form) and all the other parts of the agreement will be detailed and easy to understand.

You can even print off reports, such as what percentage of time each parent will have the child.

In Alaska, doesn't the mother automatically get custody?

No. The State of Alaska does not award custody based on the gender of the parents. Both parents are considered to be equally important in a child's life.

The court has to look at the entire situation and consider only the best interests of the child when making a ruling.

Alaska Statute 25.20.070 mandates that the child will be given equal access to both parents during the custody process and until the case is decided, unless there is a good reason, such as domestic violence, as to why this should not happen.

The court prefers to award joint custody to good, loving parents that are willing and able to take care of their child.

What does the court consider when making a ruling?

The court considers the best interest of the child, defined by the following factors listed in Alaska Statute 25.20.090:

  • The wishes of the child, if the child is old enough to make that decision
  • The loving bonds and relationships the child has with each parent
  • Whether or not each parent is willing and able to meet the needs of the child
  • The stability and quality of each of the parents' homes
  • Whether or not it is better for the child to stay in the current home
  • How much time the child would actually be able to spend with each parent while in that parent's care
  • How close the parents live to each other and the child's school
  • Whether or not the parents are willing and able to help the child have a good relationship with the other parent
  • Any reports from a neutral mediator
  • Whether or not there is any history of domestic violence, physical abuse, substance abuse or other harmful circumstances
  • Any other information the court finds to be relevant

The court understands that a child's parents are the best people to make a parenting plan for their child. If you submit a mutually agreed upon custody agreement to the court, the court will review it and approve it as long as it is in the child's best interests.

If you are unable to agree, you may attend mediation to try to do so.

Even if you cannot reach an agreement, you should create your own plan so the judge or mediator will have something to consider, since the court will make the plan for you if can't agree.

Can I use Custody X Change once my case is over?

Yes. Custody X Change has many functions you will be able to use to help make your custody arrangement easier.

You can use the Custody X Change to print out a calendar for your child and your ex to make sure everyone is clear on the schedule. You can even use the software to sync the calendar to all major calendaring tools.

The software allows you to keep track of the actual time the child spends with each of you as opposed to the scheduled time, and even has a journaling feature that lets you write notes about things that happen during visits.

The software has many features that can be used to prevent conflict, stay organized, and is also helpful if you need to make any changes to the plan. It may be used for years after your custody case is over.

The top ten cities in Alaska (by population, 2005 estimate) are: Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Wasilla, Sitka, Kenai, Ketchikan, Palmer, Bethel, Kodiak.

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