I had a hearing for modification of custody as well as a motion to move out of state. I filed everything as I should have, parenting plan, best interest affidavit etc. I was requesting to move from AK to WV and to give summers and school breaks to the father. I have been remarried and we have been gifted a house that is right across the street from a brand new elementary school with free preschool, I have a job offer with the state of WV, all of my in laws are there and my child would have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. My child, I , and the father have no family in AK. The father works on the slop and is gone 6 months per year. Has lost custody of his other children due to his drinking, does not utilize his visitation now, and is inconsistent. The judge denied my motion to move out of state as well as denied modification of custody. The judge also said that if I chose to move out of state she would award the father full custody....my child just turned 4 and she needs her mom. what can I do to fight a final judgment?
1 Answer from Attorneys
This is a tough one.
From your zip code, I assume you are in the Anchorage area.
You write that the father "does not utilize his visitation now, and is inconsistent". Which is it; he never exercises visitation or does it intermittently? Perhaps the judge feels that the father may, in time, become more serious about exercising available visitation. Or perhaps the judge expects more definite evidence on when the father did have visitation, when he did not, and what were the circumstances in each case (Did he have a good excuse when he failed to exercise visitation; were the time, place, etc. for visitation clear to both of you, etc. ?). In case the judge does so expect more details, I suggest that you file a motion for reconsideration, giving as much relevant detail as possible.
Also, you indicate that the judge denied your motions yet a final judgment has not yet been entered. If a divorce decree was entered previously, it is unclear that a final judgment will be needed. It looks like the order denying your motions may be preliminary and not necessarily what the judge will rule in a final judgment. Is there a further evidentiary hearing (trial) scheduled?