Legal Question in Family Law in Alaska

With a ONE MONTH notice, my husband's ex is trying to FORCE my husband and I to take in his 13 year old son for the remainder of the school year. We do NOT feel that we can do this in the child's best interest, with only one month notice!!! We have never had children of our own, and have only spent summer months with the son. (We are dealing with a terminal diagnosis given to me in August of 2014 - I was told I had 5 years to live. The ex wife was told this, but refuses to back off.) There is NO reason for her to push this. Child is not at risk of anything harmful there. My husband is up to date on child support, the child comes to spend the summer with us. We have told her (and have medical documentation) that this could severely shorten my lifespan, and it would DEFINITELY put a strain on our marriage and my health, but more importantly, this is a BAD parental decision! I assume she cannot "force" this, as it would not be in the best interest of the child. HOWEVER, she is now actually telling her son that if his father and I don't take him in a couple of weeks, my husband will not ever be able to see his son again. Not only would I like to know if that's possible, but I would like to put a stop to her BULLYING my husband every time she feels the urge. This is wreaking havoc on my husband's health! And it is NO WAY to raise a child!! I'd like to actually file charges against her, or know what recourse we have to stand up against her threats.

One other question: Is it legal and/or acceptable for an Alaskan Native to move out of state, but return for the birth of every child so she can get the state benefits (or payment for having children there) while fraudulently using her mother's address to claim that she is a resident?

Thank you!

Asked on 1/05/16, 2:02 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Terrence Thorgaard Thorgaard Law Firm

No, I don't believe the child's mother can legally force you husband to take physical custody of the child. If she fails to allow your husband to enjoy his court-ordered visitation (as she has apparently threatened), your husband would have every right to bring her to court to enforce visitation.

Your second question is a bit more complex. But essentially residence for the purpose of getting state benefits (for herself or her children) depends on the definition of residence for those children. I, for example, am a resident of Alaska although for years I have only been able to return there for a week or so every few years. But I am registered to vote there, have an Alaskan driver's license, etc. So it is a matter of looking at a number of facts to determine what the state of residence is.

And, of course, it doesn't appear to be a matter with respect to which you have a direct interest. In other words, you couldn't got to court over it because you wouldn't have "standing". If you are really upset about the issue, I suggest you contact one or more state officials involved with the specific program of state benefits, your state legislators, the Governor's Office, or perhaps a regional native corporation.

Read more
Answered on 1/06/16, 3:38 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Adoption questions and answers in Alaska