General information and definitions
What is custody?
Alaska judges have understood custody to include the following two parts:
- Legal custody, which means the right and responsibility to make major decisions about your child’s upbringing. These decisions include choices about education, health care, morals, and religion.1
- Physical custody, which means the right and responsibility for physical care and immediate supervision of your child.2
1Elton H. v. Naomi R., 119 P.3d 969, 975 (2005)
2Co v. Matson, 313 P.3d 521, 524 (2013)
What is joint custody?
Joint custody is also called shared custody.1 With a joint custody order, both parents share legal and physical custody of the child.2
Joint legal custody is when you and the other parent share the rights and responsibilities to make major decisions affecting your child’s welfare.3
Joint physical custody is when you and the other parent share the physical care and supervision of your child. Your child has frequent and continuing contact with each of you as much as possible, although not necessarily for equal periods of time.1 The child lives with each of you for a specified period of at least 30%, but no more than 70%, of the year.4
Note: If you have the child living with you for more than 70% of the year, that means you have primary physical custody.5
1 AK ST § 25.20.060(c)
2 Bell v. Bell, 794 P.2d 97, 99 (1990)
3Bell v. Bell, 794 P.2d 97, 99 (1990), quoting 17 A.L.R.4th 1015 n. 1
4 AK R RCP Rule 90.3(f)(1)
5 AK R RCP Rule 90.3(f)(2)
What is joint physical custody?
Joint physical custody is when both parents share the physical care and supervision of the child so that the child can spend frequent and quality time with both parents. This does not necessarily mean that the parents see the child for equal amounts of time. Joint physical custody in Alaska is when neither parent has the child for more than 70% of the child’s time during a one year period.
Will the judge always give joint custody?
There is a preference for both parents to share joint legal custody, regardless of the physical custody arrangement.1 However, the judge will only order shared custody if it is in the best interests of your child.2 The judge will look at the factors listed in How will the judge decide whether or not to give joint custody? to make his/her decision. Additionally, joint legal custody is only appropriate when you and the other parent can cooperate and communicate regarding your child.3
1Bell v. Bell, 794 P.2d 97, 99 (1990)
2 AK ST § 25.20.060(c)
2Farrell v. Farrell, 819 P.2d 896, 899 (1991)
How will the judge decide whether or not to give joint custody?
When the judge is deciding whether or not to give joint custody, also called shared custody, the judge will look at the following factors:
- what your child wants, if s/he is old enough and mature enough to give an opinion;
- what your child needs;
- how stable each parent’s home environment is;
- your child’s education;
- the advantages of keeping your child in the community where s/he lives now;
- the recommendations of a neutral mediator, if one was assigned;
- if there is any evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect in either your or the other parent’s household;
- if there is a history of violence between you and the other parent;
- if there is evidence that substance abuse by you or the other parent, or anyone in either of your homes, directly affects your child’s emotional or physical well-being;
- any other factors the judge believes are relevant; 1 and
- what would be the best possible amount of time for the child to spend with each parent. Note: To figure this out, the judge will look at:
- how much time the child actually spends with each parent;
- how close the parents live to each other and to the child’s school;
- how easy or hard is it for the child to travel between the parents;
- any special needs of the child, which one parent can take care of better than the other parent;
- how willing and able each parent is to help and encourage the child to have a close and continuing relationship with the other parent. However, except the judge will not consider this if the abuser sexually assaulted or committed domestic violence against you, your child, or any other child, and having a continuing relationship with the abuser will endanger your or your child’s health or safety.2
1 AK ST §§ 25.20.090(1)-(5); 25.20.090(7)-(10)
2 AK ST § 25.20.090(6)
Should I start a court case to ask for supervised visits?
If you are not comfortable with the abuser being alone with your child, you might be thinking about asking the judge to order that visits with your child be supervised. If you are already in court because the abuser filed for visitation or custody, you may not have much to lose by asking that the visits be supervised if you can present a valid reason for your request (although this may depend on your situation).
However, if there is no current court case, please get legal advice BEFORE you start a court case to ask for supervised visits. We strongly recommend that you talk to an attorney who specializes in custody matters to find out what you would have to prove to get the visits supervised and how long supervised visits would last, based on the facts of your case.
In the majority of cases, supervised visits are only a temporary measure. Although the exact visitation order will vary by state, county, or judge, the judge might order a professional to observe the other parent on a certain amount of visits or the visits might be supervised by a relative for a certain amount of time – and if there are no obvious problems, the visits may likely become unsupervised. Oftentimes, at the end of a case, the other parent ends up with more frequent and/ or longer visits than s/he had before you went into court or even some form of custody.
In some cases, to protect your child from immediate danger by the abuser, starting a case to ask for custody and supervised visits is appropriate. To find out what may be best in your situation, please go to AK Finding a Lawyer to seek out legal advice.
Who can get custody and visitation
Who is entitled to custody?
The judge will generally give custody to whoever s/he thinks will be able to serve the best interests of the child. This might be one of the child’s parents or someone else with a significant connection to the child. Preference for custody, however, is given to biological parents. For a non-parent to get custody, s/he must prove that the biological parents are unfit or, if the judge believes that both parents have a history of domestic violence against each other, the judge could give custody to a non-parent.1 Neither parent is automatically entitled to preference in the awarding of custody, whether or not the parents were married.2
Although the courts try to make sure the child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents, the judge will take domestic violence into consideration when making a decision about custody.3 There is a presumption (assumption) that a parent who has a history of committing domestic violence against the other parent, a child, or a domestic partner may not be awarded sole legal custody, sole physical custody, joint legal custody, or joint physical custody of a child. This presumption, however, can be overcome if the abusive parent complies with certain requirements.4
Also, the fact that an abused parent suffers from the effects of the abuse is not a reason to deny custody to the abused parent unless the court finds that the effects of the domestic violence are so severe that the parent is unable to safely parent the child.5
Note: If a parent is deployed into the military, s/he may have the option of delegating (giving) his/her custody/visitation rights to a family member. See Can a parent who is deployed give his/her visitation rights to a family member?
1 Alaska Statute § 25.24.150(i)(2)
2 Alaska Statute § 25.20.060
3 Alaska Statute § 25.24.150(c)(7)
4 Alaska Statute § 25.24.150(g) & (h)
5 Alaska Statute § 25.24.150(k)
Can a parent who committed violence get custody or visitation?
Under Alaska law, there is a presumption against giving sole or shared legal or physical custody to a parent who has committed one act of domestic violence involving serious physical injury or more than one act of domestic violence with or without causing injury. However, the abusive parent can overcome this presumption by showing that he has completed a batterers’ intervention program, does not abuse drugs/alcohol, and that the best interests of the child require the abusive parent’s participation due to the other parent being absent, mentally ill, or a drug user.1
If the presumption is not overcome, then the court should allow only supervised visitation by that parent with the child, conditioned on that parent’s participating in and successfully completing an intervention program for batterers, and a parenting education program, where reasonably available. However, the court may allow unsupervised visitation if it is proven that:
- the violent parent has completed a substance abuse treatment program, if appropriate;
- the violent parent is not abusing alcohol or drugs;
- the violent parent does not pose a danger of mental or physical harm to the child; and
- unsupervised visitation is in the child’s best interests.2
If there has only been one act of domestic violence that did not involve serious physical injury, it could still be a factor for the judge to consider but the abusive parent might be able to get custody.
1Alaska Statute § 25.24.150(h)
2 Alaska Statute § 25.24.150(j); see § 25.20.061 for more restrictions that can be placed on the parent with visitation
I am the child's grandparent. Can I file for visitation of the child?
If you file for visitation before there was ever a court case for custody of the child, you may get visitation if you have established or attempted to establish ongoing personal contact with the child and the visitation is in the child’s best interest.1
If you file for visitation after there has already been a final custody/adoption order issued by the court regarding the child, you can file for visitation only if:
- you did not request visitation from the court during the custody/adoption case; or
- there has been a change in circumstances relating to the custodial parent or the child that justifies reconsideration of the your visitation rights.2
If your child has a history of domestic violence with the other parent or a history of child abuse, this will be taken into account when the judge decides whether to give you visitation rights and what the terms and conditions of the visitation will be.3
1 Alaska Statute § 25.20.065(a)
2 Alaska Statute § 25.20.065(b)
3 Alaska Statute § 25.20.065(c)
I am the child's uncle/aunt/cousin/etc. Can I file for visitation of the child?
Although the law does not specifically mention visitation rights for aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., in a custody case, the law does permit visitation rights for a grandparent or “other person” if it is in the best interests of the child.1 If you want to know more about this, please talk to a lawyer.
1 Alaska Statute § 25.20.060
Can a parent who does not have custody have access to the child's records?
A parent who does not have custody has the same access to the medical, dental, school, and other records of the child as the custodial parent.1 Therefore, if for safety purposes, you are trying to keep your address confidential from the abuser, you might want to ask the child’s school, doctor, etc. if you can use a relative’s address or if you can list your address as a P.O. Box.
1 Alaska Statute § 25.20.130
The custody process
What are the steps for filing for custody?
Before filing in court for custody, you may want to consider drawing up an out-of-court agreement with the other parent. Usually, parents will have to be flexible when it comes to custody and visitation for the benefit of the child. Often, parents who fight for sole custody will litigate in court for months or even years and end up with some sort of joint custody agreement after settlement or trial.
However, sometimes fighting for sole custody is necessary because you can’t agree with the other parent, the other parent is not allowing contact, or you fear for your child’s well-being. Especially with domestic violence, many abusers will try to keep power and control over the victim-survivor through the child, so joint custody isn’t recommended due to the power difference in the relationship.
If you decide to file in court for custody, the process usually looks similar to this:
- File for custody.
You may file in the family court or a court of a different name that hears custody cases. Generally, you will file in the county where the child lives, and, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to request an emergency or temporary order as part of your petition. The exact petition you file may depend on whether you are married or not:
- If you are a married parent who is also filing for divorce, you can usually include the custody petition within the divorce process.
- If you are a married parent who is not filing for divorce, you can file for custody on its own in the county where the child has been living for at least six months.
- If you are an unmarried parent, you can also seek custody in court. However, if paternity hasn’t been established, which means that the father hasn’t been legally recognized, then this process will likely have to happen first or as part of the custody process.
The Alaska Court System’s Family Law Self-Help Center provides some information for unmarried parents filing for custody. If you are going to file for custody without an attorney, you can obtain some of the forms by going to our AK Download Court Forms page or the Filing for Child Custody section of the Alaska Court System’s Self-Help Center.
Custody matters are often complicated and if you can have a lawyer draft the paperwork for you and represent you in court, it might make the process much easier for you. For information on finding a lawyer, see our AK Finding a Lawyer page.
- Prepare for the custody process
The court custody process is usually very long and can be emotionally and financially draining. If you are representing yourself in court, you can learn about the court process and how to present evidence in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section. If you are able to hire an attorney, you can use this list of questions as your guide when deciding who to hire.
During the court process, you will try to prove why you should have your child’s custody. When preparing for court, you can gather evidence that helps make your case as to why you should have custody of the child. This process should be directed by the factors the law says a judge should consider when deciding custody. You can see How will a judge make a decision about which parent gets custody? for more information. It’s important to consider that the judge will be focused on what is in the best interest of your child and many states consider that this is to have a relationship with both parents.
- Prepare for trial
There will be one or more hearings, including a trial, if the parties cannot reach an agreement by themselves or as part of a mediation process. During trial, you or your attorney will be able to present evidence and cross-examine the other party to help the judge make a decision.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can plan for your safety while in court and you should ask the judge to include some protections in the custody order. For example, you can ask for some of the following terms:
- communications between the parents can only be in writing;
- all communications can only be related to the child; and
- a neutral third party should be present at the exchange of the child or should be the one to drop off and pick up the child.
You should also try to be as specific as possible in terms of the decision-making powers of each parent, who has the child on holidays, birthdays, etc., and the time and place for pick-ups and drop-offs of the child to avoid future conflicts.
- Options if you lose the custody case
There could be a couple of options that are filed immediately after the judge makes the custody order:
- A motion for reconsideration asks the judge to decide differently based on the law or new evidence.
- An appeal moves the case to a higher court and asks that court to review the lower court’s decision due to the judge’s error.
A petition to change (modify) the order is an option that would not be filed right away. You could ask for a modification if, later on, a substantial change of circumstances happens. A few examples could be if the other parent gets sent to jail, gets charged with child abuse or neglect, or moves to another state. If you are already divorced, a petition for a change in custody can be filed in the county where the divorce was issued.
To find out more about how the process works in your area, please contact a lawyer. Please visit our AK Finding a Lawyer page to find legal help in your area. You can also watch our Custody, Visitation, and Child Support videos where we explain the process. The videos include information about the different types of custody and visitation and related legal concepts that a judge will consider, child support, and moving out of state with your child.
How will a judge make a decision about custody?
The judge will look at many things to decide what is in the best interest of the child. If you are filing for custody, you should be prepared with as much information as possible about the other parent, the child, and yourself. Here are some things a judge will look at when determining what is in the “best interest” of the child:
- the physical, emotional, mental, religious, and social needs of the child and whether or not the parent has the desire and ability to meet those needs;
- what the child wants, if s/he is old enough and mature enough to give an opinion;
- the love and affection existing between the child and each parent;
- the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining that same situation;
- the desire and ability of each parent to allow a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent. Note: The judge cannot consider this if one parent shows that the other parent has sexually assaulted or committed domestic violence against the parent or child and that a continuing relationship with the abusive parent will endanger the health or safety of either the parent or the child;
- any evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect in the house where the child would live or a history of violence between the parents;
- evidence that substance abuse by either parent or other members of the household directly affects the emotional or physical well-being of the child; and
- other factors that the judge thinks are important.1
There is a presumption (assumption) that a parent who has a history of committing domestic violence against the other parent, a child, or a domestic partner may not be awarded sole or joint legal custody or sole or joint physical custody. This presumption, however, can be rebutted (overcome).2
Also, the fact that an abused parent suffers from the effects of the abuse is not a reason to deny custody to the abused parent unless the judge finds that the effects of the domestic violence are so severe that the parent is unable to safely parent the child.3
1 Alaska Statute § 25.24.150(c)
2 Alaska Statute § 25.24.150(g)
3 Alaska Statute § 25.24.150(h)
Will the judge give a temporary custody order?
While the custody case is going on, the judge will usually give a temporary custody order that gives the child equal access to both parents as much as is practical unless:
- temporary custody would be harmful (detrimental) to your child’s welfare after considering the factors listed in How will a judge make a decision about custody?; or
- the judge believes that the abuser has a history of committing domestic violence against you, your child, any other child, or a romantic partner the abuser lives with (“domestic living partner”). If the judge believes this, the abuser may not get custody unless s/he meets certain requirements. See Can a parent who committed violence get custody?1
1 AK ST §§ 25.20.070; 25.24.150(g)
If a court denies a request for custody, do they have to explain why?
If a parent or guardian ad litem asks for shared custody of a child and the court denies that request, the judge will put the reasons s/he denied your request on the court record.1
1Alaska Statute § 25.20.100
Do I need a lawyer?
A person can file for custody without a lawyer but it is usually best to have the help of a lawyer. The information we provide here should get you started and help you with basic questions you might have. However, custody issues are complicated and frequently need the help of a lawyer. For a list of legal resources, please see our AK Finding a Lawyer page.
If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.
In which state can I file for custody?
Under a federal law called the UCCJEA, you can generally only file for custody in the “home state” of the child. The “home state” is the state where the child has lived with a parent, or a person acting as a parent, for at least six consecutive months. If the child is less than six months old, the “home state” is the state where the child has lived from birth. Temporarily going out of the state does not change anything. If you and your child recently moved to a new state, generally you cannot file for custody in that new state until you have lived there for at least six months. Until then, a custody case can be started in the state that the child last lived in for at least six months.
There are exceptions to the home state rule, however. In some cases, you can file for custody in a state where the children and at least one parent have “significant connections.” Usually, however, you can only do this if there is no home state or if the home state has agreed to let another state have jurisdiction.1 This can be complicated, and if you think this applies to your situation, please talk to a lawyer in both states about this. If you have lived in Alaska for less than six months, and you, your child, or your child’s sibling are in danger of maltreatment or abuse, see Can I get temporary emergency custody?
1 AK ST § 25.30.300
Can I get temporary emergency custody?
You can file for temporary emergency custody in Alaska even if it is not the home state if the child is in the state and one of the following is true:
- the child has been abandoned or
- emergency custody is necessary to protect the child because the child or a sibling or parent of the child is has been mistreated or abused or has been threatened with mistreatment or abuse.2
However, you should know that once the court finds that there is no longer an emergency, it may transfer custody back to the home state.
If you want to know more about temporary emergency custody, please contact your local legal aid provider, a lawyer, or one of the resource centers listed on our AK Finding a Lawyer page.
1 Alaska Statute § 25.30.330(a)
Can I get temporary custody if I have a protective order against the other parent?
If you get a protective order due to domestic violence, the order may include temporary custody and/or temporary visitation rights for children. Be sure to tell the judge that you want custody during your protective order hearing so that the judge can take your request into consideration. Custody granted with that protective order expires with that order. Alaska’s long term protective orders are good for one year so that is how long the custody provisions would last. The judge may extend a temporary order if s/he feels it is necessary.1
1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.100(c)(9)
I am a victim of domestic violence. Can I keep my address and phone number confidential?
If the judge believes that you are, or your child is, the victim of domestic violence, the judge can order that your or your child’s address and telephone number be kept confidential in the court case.1
1 AK ST § 25.20.060(d)
After an order is in place
If a custody order is already in place, how can I get it changed?
Custody or visitation can be changed if the court determines that there has been a change in circumstances that requires modifying (changing) the order and the modification (change) is in the child’s best interests.1 A crime involving domestic violence is considered to be a “change in circumstances.”2 Also, a parent’s temporary duty, recruitment, or deployment to military service could be the reason to temporarily modify an order.3 To read more about situations involving military deployment, go to Can a parent modify a custody order because of military service?
When deciding whether to modify (change) the custody order, the judge should consider the history of the parents’ child support payments. However, 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 s/he was required to pay and had the money available for payment of support or the parent could have gotten the money through “reasonable efforts.”4
To change a custody order, you will usually need to go to the court that issued the order, even if you have moved. Alaska will generally keep jurisdiction (power) over a custody order that was made in an Alaska court unless neither of the parents and the child continue to live in Alaska or Alaska no longer has significant connections with evidence about the child. Under certain circumstances, Alaska may have the power to modify an out-of-state custody order if the state that issued the original order agrees to give power to Alaska and if other certain requirements are met.5 Since the requirements are complicated, to find out more about this (and all custody issues), we recommend you talk to a lawyer. Go to the AK Finding a Lawyer page to find a list of legal resources in Alaska.
1 Alaska Statute § 25.20.110(a)
2 Alaska Statute § 25.20.110(c)
3 Alaska Statute § 25.20.110(e)
4 Alaska Statute § 25.20.110(b)
5 See Alaska Statute § 25.30.320 & § 25.20.300
Can I get child support?
If your children live with you, you may be able to get child support. The amount of child support ordered is based on the custody arrangement and the child support guidelines, which are found in a document called “Civil Rule 90.3”. See the Alaska Courts website for more information about child support.
If there is a custody order in place, can I take my kids out of the state?
Whether or not you can take your child out of state may depend on what the custody order says. If a custody case is pending, but there is no order, generally the “standing order” in the case will prohibit either parent from removing the children from the state of Alaska without the permission of the other parent or a court order. If you have a custody order and you are not sure if it allows you to take your children out of state, it is a good idea to show the order to a lawyer and see what the lawyer’s advice is. To find a lawyer near you, go to our AK Finding a Lawyer page.
If the judge makes a custody and visitation order I don’t agree with, what can I do?
There are a couple of legal steps that can be taken immediately after the judge makes the order if your situation fits the circumstances explained below:
- A motion for reconsideration asks the judge to decide differently based on the law or new evidence.
- An appeal moves the case to a higher court and asks that court to review the lower court’s decision due to a judge’s error.
There could also be an option that you may take in the future, but not immediately after the judge makes the order. A motion or petition to change (modify) the order is a legal request that could be filed if, later on, a “substantial change of circumstances” happens. A few examples of substantial changes of circumstances could be if the other parent gets sent to jail, gets charged with child abuse or neglect, moves to another state, or if your child’s needs significantly change.
Learn more about these options in our After a Decision is Issued section. To find out how the process works in your area and to get advice for your specific situation, contact a local lawyer. Go to our AK Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.
Military deployment and custody/visitation
Can a parent modify a custody order because of military service?
If one parent is deployed, a judge can temporarily modify a custody or visitation order to account for the parent’s relocation or absence. In the temporary custody order, the judge should:
- arrange for custody or reasonable visitation during the deployed parent’s leave period if it’s in the child’s best interest;
- explain in the order that the temporary order will terminate (end) and the parents will go back to the terms of the original, permanent custody order within 10 days after the deployed parent notifies the court/ other parent that s/he can resume custody or visitation unless the non-deployed parent can prove to the judge that the terms of the original, permanent order are no longer in the child’s best interest. See more information at What if I feel it is unsafe to go back to the original custody order?;
- arrange for immediate notification by each parent of any change of address or contact information to the other parent and to the court (unless due to domestic violence, the abused parent’s address must be kept confidential – in that case, it would only be given to the court, not the other parent; and
- let another family member of the deployed parent use his/her visitation rights, called “delegation” of visitation, under an existing order, but only under certain circumstances. See Can a parent who is deployed give his/her visitation rights to a family member?1
1 Alaska Statute § 25.20.110(e)
How does a parent's military deployment affect custody/visitation?
A parent’s temporary duty, mobilization, or deployment to military service and the temporary disruption to the child that results from it are not supposed to affect the judge’s decision to grant or deny a petition for custody or visitation. If a parent is deployed or in a position where the parent may be deployed, the judge is supposed to take particular care to ensure that the child has the maximum opportunity to have contact with the parent if it is in the child’s best interest.1
The court order that is written must require that:
- the non-deployed parent make the child reasonably available for visitation to the deployed parent when the deployed parent is on leave if the visits are in the child’s best interest;
- each parent help to arrange contact by phone, email, video-chat, etc, between the other parent and the child if the contact is in the child’s best interest;
- the deployed parent provide timely information to the non-deployed parent regarding the deployed parent’s leave schedule; and
- each parent provide immediate notification of a change of address or contact information unless this information is to be kept confidential due to domestic violence.2
Note: When the deployed parent files a petition for custody or visitation, s/he may include a request to give his/her visitation rights to a family member to use instead.3 See Can a parent who is deployed give his/her visitation rights to a family member?
1 Alaska Statute § 25.20.095(a)
2 Alaska Statute § 25.20.095(f)
3 Alaska Statute § 25.20.095(c), (g)
If a temporary modification is made to a custody order because of military duty, what happens when the parent returns?
Within 10 days of the deployed parent notifying the other parent/ court that s/he can resume custody or visitation, the temporary, modified custody order will no longer be in effect and the parents will go back to the terms of the original, permanent custody order unless the judge believes it is not in the child’s best interest to go back to the original order. Note: It would be up to the non-deployed parent to prove that resuming the terms of the original custody or visitation order is not in the best interest of the child.1
If the deployed parent has been moved out of state and the non-deployed parent believes that going back to the original, permanent custody order will result in immediate danger or severe harm to the child or there has been domestic violence, the non-deployed parent can file a motion (legal papers) in court. The judge must arrange for a hearing on this issue.2
1 Alaska Statute § 25.20.110(e)(2)
2 Alaska Statute § 25.20.110(e)(3)
What if I feel it is unsafe to go back to the original custody order?
If the deployed parent has been moved out of state and the non-deployed parent files a motion (legal papers) claiming that going back to the original, permanent custody order will result in immediate danger of severe harm to the child or that there has been domestic violence, the judge must arrange for a hearing on this issue.1
1 Alaska Statute § 25.20.110(e)(3)
Can a parent who is deployed give his/her visitation rights to a family member?
When a parent who is deployed files a petition for custody or visitation, s/he may include a request to delegate (give) his/her visitation rights to a family member to use instead. The judge should allow the family member to use the visitation rights only if:
- the family member has an existing close relationship to the child; and
- it is in the child’s best interest.
However, if the family member wanting visitation has a history of domestic violence against a spouse, a child, or a domestic living partner, or lives with someone who does, then the judge has to assume that the family member cannot use the visitation although the family member can present evidence to try to change the judge’s mind about this.1
1 Alaska Statute § 25.24.150(c), (g)