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Co-Parenting in Alaska: Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents

Child Custody in Alaska

The first aspect to consider when co-parenting in Alaska is child custody. According to Alaska Statute 25.24.150, there are two types of custody arrangements in Alaska—legal custody and physical custody.


Legal custody refers to having the right to make decisions about major areas of a child’s life, such as health and education. Parents can be awarded joint legal custody, meaning they must make decisions together, or sole legal custody, meaning one parent can make decisions without consulting the other. Unless there is a risk to the child’s well-being, it’s generally assumed that parents should have joint legal custody.


Physical custody refers to where the child primarily resides, and can take the form of shared custody or sole physical custody. When awarded shared physical custody, both parents share the responsibility of caring for the child and providing for their needs. When one parent is awarded sole physical custody, the child lives with that parent most of the time and visits the other parent. In most cases, courts are likely to award joint physical custody and shared parenting time.


Child Support in Alaska

The second aspect of co-parenting in Alaska pertains to child support. According to Alaska Statute 25.27.020, both parents are legally required to provide financial support to their children, regardless of whether they’ve been granted joint legal or physical custody.


Child support is calculated using a formula that takes into account both parents’ incomes, the amount of parenting time, the costs of health care (and health insurance), and other factors. Parents can determine the amount of child support they’re expected to pay by using the Alaska Child Support Guidelines Calculator. It’s important to note that once child support is established, it must be paid in full, on time, and as ordered. If either parent fails to do so, the other parent can take legal action.  Parents can also request an increase if they feel that they not fully paid.


Co-Parenting Expenses in Alaska

On top of child support, co-parenting typically comes with additional child-related expenses. Common examples of co-parenting expenses include unreimbursed medical costs, daycare or babysitting costs, extracurricular activities, and educational expenses. All these costs should be split between the two parents according to each parent’s income and ability to pay.


Many co-parenting parents create a budget in advance and outline how these costs will be divided. This can help minimize conflict between the two parents, as they already know who is responsible for what costs. If issues arise, parents should try to communicate with one another and resolve their issues calmly. If the parents cannot come to a mutual agreement, they may need to seek legal assistance.


Parental Rights in Alaska

In addition to understanding the laws related to child custody, child support, and co-parenting expenses, it’s important to be aware of parental rights in Alaska. Generally speaking, both parents have fundamental rights to see, know about, and access their child. These rights are guaranteed by Alaska Statute 25.20.050 and cannot be violated or denied unless it is in the child’s best interest.


Parents also have the right to obtain information about their child’s health, education, and welfare; the right to inspect school and extracurricular records; and the right to be consulted in major decisions about the child’s care. However, if there is a risk of harm, parents cannot use these rights to interfere with their ex’s parenting.


Decision Making in Alaska

Decision-making is an important part of co-parenting in Alaska. Generally speaking, parents are expected to work together to make decisions about the child’s life, and both parents’ opinions should be taken into consideration. If one parent is awarded sole legal custody, then that parent is primarily responsible for making decisions.


In cases where the parents cannot come to an agreement, they may need to rely on mediation or legal arbitration to resolve their differences. Parents should keep in mind that their decisions should be in the best interest of the child, and should ask themselves the following questions: Is this decision beneficial for the child? Is this decision safe for the child? Is this decision in accordance with the law?


Working Together to Create a Co-Parenting Plan

When dealing with co-parenting in Alaska, it’s important to remember that both parents should work together to create an effective co-parenting plan. This plan should outline the custody arrangement, child support, co-parenting expenses, parental rights, and decision-making processes. It’s important to have a plan in place, as this can protect both parents and the child from legal and financial issues.


In addition to creating a co-parenting plan, parents should strive to create a safe, nurturing, and positive environment for their child. This means being open to compromise, listening to each other, communicating openly and often, and making sure that the child’s needs are always put first.


Resources for Co-Parenting in Alaska

Co-parenting can be a challenging task and it’s important to know where to turn for help and guidance. The following organizations and resources can provide additional information and assistance when needed:

  • Alaska Child Support Services
  • Alaska Parental Rights & Responsibilities Handbook
  • Alaska Statutes Relating to Child Custody, Visitation, and Support
  • Alaska Family Law Self-Help Center
  • AK Parenting Time Guidelines
  • Parenting Plans for Visitation and Custody
  • Alaska Native Justice Center


Conclusion: Co-Parenting in Alaska

Co-parenting in Alaska is full of unique laws and considerations, and it can be a complicated and difficult task. To make things simpler for everyone involved, it’s important for co-parents to be aware of the laws related to child custody, child support, co-parenting expenses, parental rights, and decision-making. Having a plan in place can also help avoid potential legal and financial issues. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help from local and online resources if needed.


Fact Check and Resources

In crafting this post, we conducted thorough fact-checking and research, consulting the following sources:




Co-parenting in USA



Co-parenting in Canada




Warning:  This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.

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