A person is considered to have arrived at majority at the age of 18, and thereafter has control of the person's own actions and business and has all the rights and is subject to all the liabilities of citizens of full age, except as otherwise provided by statute.
If a parent or the guardian ad litem requests shared custody of a child and the court denies the request, the reasons for the denial shall be stated on the record.
Each parent is bound to maintain the parent's children when poor and unable to work to maintain themselves. Each child is bound to maintain the child's parents in like circumstances.
At any stage of a proceeding involving custody of a child the court may, if it is in the best interests of the child, close the proceeding to the public or order the court records closed to the public temporarily or permanently. The court may modify or vacate an order under this section at any time.
A person arrives at the age of majority upon being married according to law, unless the person is under the marriageable age of consent as defined in AS 25.05.171 (a), in which case the person reaches majority upon reaching the marriageable age of consent.
A child, born to a married woman by means of artificial insemination performed by a licensed physician and consented to in writing by both spouses, is considered for all purposes the natural and legitimate child of both spouses.
A parent who is not granted custody under AS 25.20.060 - 25.20.130 has the same access to the medical, dental, school, and other records of the child as the custodial parent.
In an action to modify, vacate, or enforce that part of an order providing for custody of a child or visitation with a child, the court may, upon request of a party, award attorney fees and costs of the action. In awarding attorney fees and costs under this section, the court shall consider the relative financial resources of the parties and whether the parties have acted in good faith.
If a minor who has a parent living has property from which income is sufficient for maintenance and education in a manner more expensive than the parent can reasonably afford, considering the situation of the parent's family and all the circumstances of the case, the expenses of the minor's maintenance and education may be defrayed out of the income of the property, in whole or in part, as judged reasonable by the court. The expenses may be allowed accordingly in the settlement of the accounts of the minor's guardian.
Unless it is shown to be detrimental to the welfare of the child considering the factors under AS 25.24.150 (c), or unless the presumption under AS 25.24.150 (g) is present, the child shall have, to the greatest degree practical, equal access to both parents during the time that the court considers an award of custody under AS 25.20.060 - 25.20.130.
(a) An award of custody of a child or visitation with the child may be modified if the court determines that a change in circumstances requires the modification of the award and the modification is in the best interests of the child. If a parent opposes the modification of the award of custody or visitation with the child and the modification is granted, the court shall enter on the record its reason for the modification.
(b) When making a determination relating to child custody under (a) of this section, the court shall consider the past history of the parents with respect to their compliance with the child support payment provisions of temporary or permanent support orders or agreements relating to the child or to other children. Under this subsection, the court may consider a parent's failure to pay child support only if the parent had actual knowledge of the amount of the child support obligation and had funds available for payment of support or could have obtained those funds through reasonable efforts, as determined by the court.
(c) In a proceeding involving the modification of an award for custody of a child or visitation with a child, a finding that a crime involving domestic violence has occurred since the last custody or visitation determination is a finding of change of circumstances under (a) of this section.
(a) When a court order is specific as to when a custodian of a minor child must permit another person to have visitation with that child, and the custodian fails, wilfully and without just excuse, to permit visitation with the child in substantial conformance with the court order, the person entitled to visitation has a separate cause of action against the custodian for damages.
(b) The amount of damages recoverable under this section is $200 for each failure of the custodian, wilfully and without just excuse, to permit visitation with the child for substantially the length of time and substantially in the same manner as specified in the court order. This amount may not be increased or decreased once liability has been established. The custodian is not liable for more than one failure in respect to what is, under the court order, a single continuous period of visitation. The prevailing party in an action commenced under this section is entitled to recover a reasonable attorney fee.
(c) As used in this section,
(1) 'court order' means a decree, judgment, or order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction;
(2) 'custodian' means a natural person who has been awarded custody, either temporary or permanent, of a minor child;
(3) 'just excuse' includes illness of the child which makes it dangerous to the health of the child for visitation to take place in conformance with the court order; 'just excuse' does not include the wish of the child not to have visitation with the person entitled to it.
If visitation is awarded to a parent who has committed a crime involving domestic violence, against the other parent or a child of the two parents, within the five years preceding the award of visitation, the court may set conditions for the visitation, including
(1) the transfer of the child for visitation must occur in a protected setting;
(2) visitation shall be supervised by another person or agency and under specified conditions as ordered by the court;
(3) the perpetrator shall attend and complete, to the satisfaction of the court, a program for the rehabilitation of perpetrators of domestic violence that meets the standards set by the Department of Corrections under AS 44.28.020 (b), or other counseling; the perpetrator shall be required to pay the costs of the program or other counseling;
(4) the perpetrator shall abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances during the visitation and for 24 hours before visitation;
(5) the perpetrator shall pay costs of supervised visitation as set by the court;
(6) the prohibition of overnight visitation;
(7) the perpetrator shall post a bond to the court for the return and safety of the child; and
(8) any other condition necessary for the safety of the child, the other parent, or other household member.
(a) If there is a dispute over child custody, either parent may petition the superior court for resolution of the matter under AS 25.20.060 - 25.20.130. The court shall award custody on the basis of the best interests of the child. In determining the best interests of the child, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including those factors enumerated in AS 25.24.150 (c), and the presumption established in AS 25.24.150 (g). In a custody determination under this section, the court shall provide for visitation by a grandparent or other person if that is in the best interests of the child.
(b) Neither parent, regardless of the question of the child's legitimacy, is entitled to preference in the awarding of custody.
(c) The court may award shared custody to both parents if shared custody is determined by the court to be in the best interests of the child. An award of shared custody shall assure that the child has frequent and continuing contact with each parent to the maximum extent possible.
(d) If the court finds that a parent or child is a victim of domestic violence, the court may order that the address and telephone number of the parent or child be kept confidential in the proceedings.
(a) Except as prohibited under AS 18.16.010 (a)(3),
(1) a minor who is living apart from the minor's parents or legal guardian and who is managing the minor's own financial affairs, regardless of the source or extent of income, may give consent for medical and dental services for the minor;
(2) a minor may give consent for medical and dental services if the parent or legal guardian of the minor cannot be contacted or, if contacted, is unwilling either to grant or withhold consent; however, where the parent or legal guardian cannot be contacted or, if contacted, is unwilling either to grant or to withhold consent, the provider of medical or dental services shall counsel the minor keeping in mind not only the valid interests of the minor but also the valid interests of the parent or guardian and the family unit as best the provider presumes them;
(3) a minor who is the parent of a child may give consent to medical and dental services for the minor or the child;
(4) a minor may give consent for diagnosis, prevention or treatment of pregnancy, and for diagnosis and treatment of venereal disease;
(5) the parent or guardian of the minor is relieved of all financial obligation to the provider of the service under this section.
(b) The consent of a minor who represents that the minor may give consent under this section is considered valid if the person rendering the medical or dental service relied in good faith upon the representations of the minor.
(c) Nothing in this section may be construed to remove liability of the person performing the examination or treatment for failure to meet the standards of care common throughout the health professions in the state or for intentional misconduct.
In determining whether to award shared custody of a child the court shall consider
(1) the child's preference if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form a preference;
(2) the needs of the child;
(3) the stability of the home environment likely to be offered by each parent;
(4) the education of the child;
(5) the advantages of keeping the child in the community where the child presently resides;
(6) the optimal time for the child to spend with each parent considering
(A) the actual time spent with each parent;
(B) the proximity of each parent to the other and to the school in which the child is enrolled;
(C) the feasibility of travel between the parents;
(D) special needs unique to the child that may be better met by one parent than the other;
(E) the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child, except that the court may not consider this willingness and ability if one parent shows that the other parent has sexually assaulted or engaged in domestic violence against the parent or a child, and that a continuing relationship with the other parent will endanger the health or safety of either the parent or the child;
(7) any findings and recommendations of a neutral mediator;
(8) any evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect in the proposed custodial household or a history of violence between the parents;
(9) evidence that substance abuse by either parent or other members of the household directly affects the emotional or physical well-being of the child;
(10) other factors the court considers pertinent.
(a) Except as provided in (b) 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
(1) the grandparent has established or attempted to establish ongoing personal contact with the child; and
(2) visitation by the grandparent is in the child's best interest.
(b) After a decree or final order relating to child custody is entered under AS 25.20.060 or AS 25.24.150 or relating to an adoption under AS 25.23, a grandparent may petition under this section only if
(1) the grandparent did not request the court to grant visitation rights during the pendency of proceedings under AS 25.20.060 , AS 25.23, or AS 25.24; or
(2) 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.
(c) When determining whether to grant rights of visitation between a grandparent and grandchild under this section, AS 25.20.060 , or AS 25.24, 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.
(a) When a birth occurs to an unmarried woman in a hospital or en route to a hospital to which the woman is later admitted, the hospital shall ensure that a staff member
(1) meets with the woman before release from the hospital;
(2) attempts to meet with the father of the unmarried woman's child, if possible;
(3) presents to the mother and, if possible, the father, a pamphlet or statement regarding the rights and responsibilities of a natural parent; the Department of Health and Social Services shall prepare this pamphlet and distribute copies of it to each hospital in the state, to each physician in the state whose practice includes attendance at births, to each nurse-midwife and direct-entry midwife in the state, and to other interested persons in the state who request copies;
(4) provides to the mother and, if possible, the father, all forms, statements, or agreements necessary to voluntarily establish a parent and child relationship, including an acknowledgement of paternity form prepared under AS 18.50.165 ;
(5) on request of the mother and father, assists the father in completing specific forms, statements, or agreements necessary to establish a parent and child relationship between the father and the child; and
(6) on request of the mother and father, mails a completed voluntary acknowledgement of paternity form to the state registrar for filing under AS 18.50.165 .
(b) When a birth occurs to an unmarried woman who is not in a hospital for the birth nor admitted to a hospital immediately after the birth, and the birth is attended by a physician, nurse-midwife, or direct-entry midwife, the physician, nurse-midwife, or direct-entry midwife shall perform the duties described in (a)(2) - (6) of this section or ensure that an agent performs those duties.
(c) When a birth occurs in a situation that is not covered by either (a) or (b) of this section, any adult may, upon request of the father and mother, assist them in filing a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity form with the state registrar under AS 18.50.165 .
(d) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, the Department of Health and Social Services may adopt regulations to establish exceptions for good cause that identify circumstances under which a hospital is not required to comply with (a) of this section. A hospital may be excused from complying with (a) of this section if the hospital meets those regulatory requirements.
(a) Except as provided in (f) and (g) of this section, at any time within 30 days after a petition for child custody is filed under AS 25.20.060 the court may order the parties to submit to mediation. Each party has the right to challenge peremptorily one mediator appointed.
(b) Mediation shall be conducted informally as a conference, or by telephone, or series of conferences, as determined by the mediator. The parties to the action and a court-appointed representative of the minor children shall attend.
(c) If the mediator determines that mediation efforts are unsuccessful, the mediator shall terminate mediation and notify the court that mediation efforts have failed. The custody proceeding shall proceed in the usual manner.
(d) Upon submission of the parties to mediation under this section, a pending child custody proceeding shall be stayed for a period of 30 days or until the court is notified that mediation efforts have failed. All court orders made during the pending custody proceeding remain in effect during the period of mediation.
(e) Costs of mediation shall be paid as ordered by the court by one party, by both parties, or by the state if both parties are indigent.
(f) The court may not order or refer parties to mediation in a proceeding concerning custody or visitation of a child if a protective order issued or filed under AS 18.66.100 - 18.66.180 is in effect. The court may not order or refer parties to mediation if a party objects on the grounds that domestic violence has occurred between the parties unless the court finds that the conditions of (g)(1) - (3) of this section are met. If the court proposes or suggests mediation under this subsection,
(1) mediation may not occur unless the victim of the alleged domestic violence agrees to the mediation; and
(2) the court shall advise the parties that each party has the right to not agree to mediation and that the decision of each party will not bias other decisions of the court.
(g) A mediator who receives a referral or order from a court to conduct mediation under (a) of this section shall evaluate whether domestic violence has occurred between the parties. A mediator may not engage in mediation when either party has committed a crime involving domestic violence unless
(1) mediation is requested by the victim of the alleged domestic violence, or proposed by the court and agreed to by the victim;
(2) mediation is provided by a mediator who is trained in domestic violence in a manner that protects the safety of the victim and any household member, taking into account the results of an assessment of the potential danger posed by the perpetrator and the risk of harm to the victim; and
(3) the victim is permitted to have in attendance a person of the victim's choice, including an attorney.
(a) A child born out of wedlock is legitimated and considered the heir of the putative parent when (1) the putative parent subsequently marries the undisputed parent of the child; (2) for acknowledgments made before July 1, 1997, the putative parent acknowledges, in writing, being a parent of the child; (3) for acknowledgments made on or after July 1, 1997, the putative father and the mother both sign a form for acknowledging paternity under AS 18.50.165 ; or (4) the putative parent is determined by a superior court without jury or by another tribunal, upon sufficient evidence, to be a parent of the child. Acceptable evidence includes evidence that the putative parent's conduct and bearing toward the child, either by word or act, indicates that the child is the child of the putative parent. That conduct may be construed by the tribunal to constitute evidence of parentage. When indefinite, ambiguous, or uncertain terms are used, the tribunal may use extrinsic evidence to show the putative parent's intent.
(b) The Bureau of Vital Statistics, as custodian of the original certificates of birth of all persons born in the state, is designated as the depository for such acknowledgment and adjudication. The acknowledgment or adjudication shall be forwarded to the bureau in accordance with appropriate regulations of the bureau, and shall be noted on and filed with the corresponding original certificate of birth.
(c) In case of the birth in this state of a child out of wedlock and the legitimation of the child in accordance with this section, at the written request of the parents, or either of them or of the legal guardian, or of the person when of legal age, the Bureau of Vital Statistics shall prepare and place on file a substitute birth certificate, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the bureau pertaining to new certificates of this type.
(d) The results of a genetic test that is of a type generally acknowledged as reliable by an accreditation body designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and performed by a laboratory approved by such an accreditation body shall be admitted and weighed in conjunction with other evidence in determining the statistical probability that the putative parent is a legal parent of the child in question. However, a genetic test described in this subsection that establishes a probability of parentage at 95 percent or higher creates a presumption of parentage that may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence.
(e) Except as provided in (i) of this section, in proceedings in which paternity is contested, the tribunal shall order the parties, including the child, to submit to testing as described in (d) of this section upon request of
(1) the child support services agency created in AS 25.27.010 or the child support enforcement agency of another state; or
(2) a party, including a sworn statement
(A) alleging the paternity of an individual and setting out facts that show a reasonable possibility that the mother and that individual had sexual contact that could have resulted in the conception of the child; or
(B) denying the paternity of an individual and setting out facts that show a reasonable possibility that the mother and that individual did not have sexual contact that could have resulted in the conception of the child.
(f) The child support enforcement agency or child support services agency, as appropriate, may recover the costs of testing ordered under (e) of this section from the alleged father unless the testing establishes that the individual is not the father, except that costs may not be recovered from a person who is a recipient of cash assistance or self-sufficiency services under AS 47.27 (Alaska temporary assistance program). For purposes of this subsection, a person who receives a diversion payment and self-sufficiency services under AS 47.27.026 is not considered to be a recipient of cash assistance or self-sufficiency services under AS 47.27.
(g) A default judgment shall be entered against the defendant in an action where paternity is contested upon
(1) a showing that process was served on the defendant as required under applicable state law and court rules;
(2) a showing that the defendant has failed to appear at a hearing in the action or has failed to respond within a reasonable period of time as specified in court rules; and
(3) any additional showing determined necessary by the court.
(h) The tribunal in a paternity action shall give full faith and credit to a determination of paternity made by another state, whether established through voluntary acknowledgment or through administrative or judicial procedures.
(i) If a tribunal finds that good cause exists not to order genetic testing after considering the best interests of the child, the tribunal may not order testing under (e) of this section.
(j) Invoices, bills, or other standard documents showing charges for medical and related costs of pregnancy, childbirth, or genetic testing are admissible in an action to establish paternity without testimony or other evidence from the medical or other provider or third-party payor to provide the foundation for admissibility of the documents. The documents shall constitute prima facie evidence of the amounts incurred for such charges.
(k) Upon the motion of the child support enforcement agency or child support services agency, as appropriate, or another party in the action to establish paternity, the tribunal shall issue a temporary order for support of the child whose paternity is being determined. The order may require periodic payments of support, health care coverage, or both. The order shall be effective until the tribunal issues a final order on paternity and a permanent order for support is issued or the tribunal dismisses the action. The temporary order may only be issued if the tribunal finds clear and convincing evidence of the paternity of the putative father on the basis of the results of the genetic tests and other evidence admitted in the proceeding.
(l) The tribunal shall consider a completed and signed form for acknowledging paternity that meets the requirements of AS 18.50.165(a) as a legal finding of paternity for a child born out of wedlock. For an acknowledgment signed on or after July 1, 1997, the acknowledgment may only be withdrawn by the earlier of the following dates: (1) 60 days after the date that the person signed it, or (2) the date on which judicial or administrative procedures are initiated to establish child support in the form of periodic payments or health care coverage for, or to determine paternity of, the child who is the subject of the acknowledgement. After this time period has passed, the acknowledgment may only be contested in superior court on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake. The parent wishing to contest the acknowledgment carries the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence. Unless good cause is shown, the court may not stay child support or other legal responsibilities while the action to contest the acknowledgment is pending.
(m) If a parent signs an acknowledgment of paternity under (a) of this section and does not successfully challenge the acknowledgment under (l) of this section, the child born out of wedlock is considered legitimated and the heir of the parent without further action of the tribunal to ratify the acknowledgment of paternity.
(n) Each paternity order or acknowledgment made under this section must include in the records relating to the matter the social security numbers, if ascertainable, of the following persons:
(1) the father;
(2) the mother;
(3) the child.
(o) In this section, unless the context requires otherwise, 'tribunal' means a court, administrative agency, or quasi-judicial entity authorized by state law to determine parentage.