Supreme Court of Alaska (2022)
In Daum v. Daum, 518 P.3d 718 (Alaska 2022), the supreme court held that the superior court had
jurisdiction and authority to award support for an adult child covering the entirety of the child’s
living expenses. (Id. at 720). After a father filed for divorce following years of separation, the
mother counterclaimed for child support for the prior three years after the couple’s son had turned
19. (Id.). The mother argued that their son needed significant support due to a number of diagnosed
mental conditions. (Id.). The superior court found that the son could not fully take care of himself
and was dependent on care provided by his mother, so it ordered the father to pay about $1,000
per month, which would fully cover the son’s living expenses. (Id. at 721). The father argued on
appeal that Alaska lost jurisdiction to order child support when the son turned 19 and the original
order for child support expired. (Id. at 722). He also claimed that the court could not modify an
order to require post–majority support after the child had already reached majority. (Id. at 723).
The supreme court held that the lapsing of the child support order was a modification that did not
terminate jurisdiction and that allowing post–majority modification was consistent with precedent.
(Id.). The court held that a 100% support order could be appropriate, but remanded the case to
determine if the son’s earnings should decrease the father’s amount owed. (Id. at 725). Affirming
in part and remanding in part, the supreme court held that the superior court had jurisdiction and
authority to award support for an adult child covering the entirety of the child’s living expenses.
(Id. at 720).