Family Law

  • Fox v. Grace In Fox v. Grace, the supreme court held that an Alaskan court can modify an out-of-state custody order if it determines that the child, the parent, and all persons acting as parents live outside the issuing state.  In early 2018, the Graces filed motions in an Oregon court to modify their custody arrangement with Fox, ...
  • Edith A. v. Jonah A. In Edith A. v. Jonah A., the Supreme Court held that a party is entitled to a hearing on a motion to modify legal custody if she has alleged specific facts which, if true, demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances.  Jonah and Edith were married in 2006 and had a son.  Jonah filed for divorce ...
  • Fletcher v. Fletcher In Fletcher v. Fletcher, the supreme court held that the trial court’s findings regarding the division of marital property should have been sufficient to overcome the presumption of an equal distribution of the property, and therefore the equal division was an abuse of the lower court’s discretion.  Married since 1990, Linda Fletcher filed for divorce ...
  • Michael W. v. Brown In Michael W. v. Brown, the supreme court held that that while section 13.26.132 of the Alaska statutes allows for parental rights to be “suspended by circumstances,” that phrase focuses on parents’ ability to assume the responsibilities of parenthood, that custody will be harmful to a child’s welfare for other reasons is not alone enough ...
  • Matter of the Adoption of E.H. and J.H. In the Matter of the Adoption of E.H. and J.H. were removed from their parents’ home and placed with a foster family, but maintained a relationship with their maternal grandparents.  While Simon and Ellie ...
  • Geldermann v. Geldermann In Geldermann v. Geldermann, the supreme court held that a superior court may sua sponte modify child support and custody agreements without a formal motion on the matter so long as both parties have sufficient opportunity to be heard and actual notice that modification may be at issue.  After divorcing in 2011, Darcy and Matthew ...
  • Dara S. v. State In Dara S. v. State, the supreme court held that a court may set aside a termination of parental rights order where there is clear and convincing evidence both that the parent is sufficiently rehabilitated and that the parent is capable of providing the care and guidance that wills serve the moral, emotional, mental and ...
  • Tomal v. Anderson In Tomal v. Anderson, the supreme court held that in distributing property acquired during a domestic partnership courts must (1) determine when the partnership began and ended; (2) classify the property of that period as partnership or separate property (first according to statute or contract, and then by the partners’ intent); (3) determine partnership property’s ...
  • Brennan v. Brennan In Brennan v. Brennan, the Supreme Court of Alaska held that to determine whether separate property has been transmuted into marital property through an implied inter-spousal gift, a court must determine whether the owning spouse intended “to donate or convey separate property to the marital unit or marital estate.”  Kelly Brennan formed a fishing business ...
  • Mengisteab v. Oates In Mengisteab v. Oates, the supreme court held that, in deciding child custody when a parent decides to physically relocate, a court must consider the effect the move may have on stability and continuity in a child’s life.  Mengisteab and Oates were the separated mother and father of a young child.  Mengisteab had primary custody ...

Family Law

  • Fox v. Grace In Fox v. Grace, the supreme court held that an Alaskan court can modify an out-of-state custody order if it determines that the child, the parent, and all persons acting as parents live outside the issuing state.  In early 2018, the Graces filed motions in an Oregon court to modify their custody arrangement with Fox, ...
  • Edith A. v. Jonah A. In Edith A. v. Jonah A., the Supreme Court held that a party is entitled to a hearing on a motion to modify legal custody if she has alleged specific facts which, if true, demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances.  Jonah and Edith were married in 2006 and had a son.  Jonah filed for divorce ...
  • Fletcher v. Fletcher In Fletcher v. Fletcher, the supreme court held that the trial court’s findings regarding the division of marital property should have been sufficient to overcome the presumption of an equal distribution of the property, and therefore the equal division was an abuse of the lower court’s discretion.  Married since 1990, Linda Fletcher filed for divorce ...
  • Michael W. v. Brown In Michael W. v. Brown, the supreme court held that that while section 13.26.132 of the Alaska statutes allows for parental rights to be “suspended by circumstances,” that phrase focuses on parents’ ability to assume the responsibilities of parenthood, that custody will be harmful to a child’s welfare for other reasons is not alone enough ...
  • Matter of the Adoption of E.H. and J.H. In the Matter of the Adoption of E.H. and J.H. were removed from their parents’ home and placed with a foster family, but maintained a relationship with their maternal grandparents.  While Simon and Ellie ...
  • Geldermann v. Geldermann In Geldermann v. Geldermann, the supreme court held that a superior court may sua sponte modify child support and custody agreements without a formal motion on the matter so long as both parties have sufficient opportunity to be heard and actual notice that modification may be at issue.  After divorcing in 2011, Darcy and Matthew ...
  • Dara S. v. State In Dara S. v. State, the supreme court held that a court may set aside a termination of parental rights order where there is clear and convincing evidence both that the parent is sufficiently rehabilitated and that the parent is capable of providing the care and guidance that wills serve the moral, emotional, mental and ...
  • Tomal v. Anderson In Tomal v. Anderson, the supreme court held that in distributing property acquired during a domestic partnership courts must (1) determine when the partnership began and ended; (2) classify the property of that period as partnership or separate property (first according to statute or contract, and then by the partners’ intent); (3) determine partnership property’s ...
  • Brennan v. Brennan In Brennan v. Brennan, the Supreme Court of Alaska held that to determine whether separate property has been transmuted into marital property through an implied inter-spousal gift, a court must determine whether the owning spouse intended “to donate or convey separate property to the marital unit or marital estate.”  Kelly Brennan formed a fishing business ...
  • Mengisteab v. Oates In Mengisteab v. Oates, the supreme court held that, in deciding child custody when a parent decides to physically relocate, a court must consider the effect the move may have on stability and continuity in a child’s life.  Mengisteab and Oates were the separated mother and father of a young child.  Mengisteab had primary custody ...