AlaskaChild Visitation Laws
Alaska Child Custody Guide :: Table of Contents
What is child visitation?In the context of a child custody case, visitation is defined as the rights for a non-custodial parent to see their child, or as temporary custody that's been granted for a period of time to an otherwise non-custodial parent or relative.
In general, courts in Alaska assume that it is beneficial for both biological parents of a child to have shared custody or visitation, unless it is shown to be against the child's best interests. A biological parent who is denied custody may be awarded visitation rights to provide for a relationship between the parent and child.
Visitation by grandparents, family members, or other third-parties is less clear cut in Alaska, and nationwide. While there are state guidelines regarding third-party visitation in certain situations, these laws are frequently challenged.
Above all else, courts in Alaska strive to make custody and visitation decisions that are "in the best interests of the child". The court handling each individual visitation case has significant flexibility in determining what arrangement is in the child's best interests. You can read about Alaska's visitation guildelines on this page.
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Except as provided in of this section, a child's grandparent may petition the superior court for an order establishing reasonable rights of visitation between the grandparent and child if the grandparent has established or attempted to establish ongoing personal contact with the child visitation by the grandparent is in the child's best interest.
After a decree or final order relating to child custody is entered or relating to an adoption, a grandparent may petition under this section only if the grandparent did not request the court to grant visitation rights during the pendency of proceedings there has been a change in circumstances relating to the custodial parent or the minor child that justifies reconsideration of the grandparent's visitation rights.
When determining whether to grant rights of visitation between a grandparent and grandchild under this section, and when determining the terms and conditions to be attached to a right of grandparent visitation, the court shall consider whether there is a history of child abuse or domestic violence attributable to the grandparent's son or daughter who is a parent of the grandchild.
In the state of Alaska, there are a number of laws regarding child visitation regarding visitation for third-parties other than the biological parents of the child. While state laws regarding third-party visitation have been frequently been challenged in courts, they are a good indication of Alaska's positions regarding non-parental visitation rights.
Visitation Rights Of Grandparents In Alaska:
Alaska has special statutes regarding the child visitiation rights of grandparents under different circumstances. Under state law, the grandparents of children may obtain visitation while the parents are alive, regardless of the parent's marital status.
Regardless of state presumptions regarding grandparent's visitation rights under specific circumstances, an Alaska court may allow or prevent visitation rights in any situation based on the best interests of the child.
Visitation Rights Of Other Parties In Alaska:
Are step-parents granted visitation rights in the state of Alaska?
Generally it is an uphill battle for step-parents seeking visitation rights for a step-child, especially if the biological parents of the child are alive and are opposed to the visitation.
Under Alaska law, legal provisions do exist to grant child visitation rights to step-parents under certain circumstances, so visitation can be readily applied for. In all cases, third-party visitation rights are more likely to be granted by the court if they are deemed to be in the best interests of the child.
Can other interested parties or relatives be granted visitation rights to a child in Alaska?
Under state of Alaska law, it may be possible for other individuals to be granted visitation rights by the court. This might include relatives other than the child'a parents, previous caregivers, etc.
Can parents be granted visitation rights after termination of parental rights or adoption in Alaska?
In the state of Alaska it may not be possible to be granted visitation rights after losing parental rights or giving up a child for adoption. This is the case with both biological parents and previous guardians.