What is Child Support and When Does it Occur in Alaska? | CourtRecords.org
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What is Child Support and When does it Occur in Alaska?

Child support in Alaska occurs when parents that dissolve a marriage or were never married attempt to fulfill their legal obligation to support their children. The state courts through the interpretation of Child Support Guidelines ensures that the parents prioritize providing financial supporting their children until they become independent adults. This legal obligation is primarily executed through periodic court-ordered child support payments.

Along with the state judiciary, the Child Support Services Division of the Alaska Department of Revenue is authorized by state and federal laws to collect child support payments in the Alaska. Also, if parents fail to fulfill the court-mandated duties, the department is also responsible for enforcing payment.

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What is Alaska Child Support?

Child support in Alaska is a consistent and reliable financial support targeted at addressing a child’s daily living costs. It incudes child maintenance payments that one parent (usually the non-resident parent) pays the custodial parent to meet the child’s needs. The intermittent payment is established by a court order issued by the superior court or through the State Child Support Services Division pursuant to Rule 90.3.

The department also provides an online Child Support Calculator, which helps the parents in each case to determine their child support obligations based on their earnings before a defining court order is put in place.

Child support in Alaska is payable for all children living in the state whose parents have separated, regardless of if they were married to each other or not.

What Does Child Support Cover in Alaska?

Child support in Alaska covers the child’s everyday costs such as;

  • Feeding expenses
  • Clothing expenses
  • Shelter costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Childcare
  • Educational costs and fees
  • Transportation costs

All of these costs and other options are outlined in the court-issued child support order, including health care expenses not covered by insurance unless otherwise stated.

What is the Average Child Support Payment in Alaska?

Although child support payments in Alaska are calculated based on each family’s combined incomes, state child support law sets a mandatory minimum child support amount at $50 a month, which in total is $600 a year. Before establishing a child support order, The Alaska Court System encourages mutual child support agreements between the parents. If they reach this agreement, they must have the court approve it because child support agreements made verbally out of court are not legally binding or enforceable.

Typically, the courts use the “percentage income method” to calculate the paying parent’s financial obligation. The calculation process is automated to determine the exact child support amount based on income.

According to the percentage income formula, as set in the state child support guidelines, a fixed percentage of the paying parent’s income is to be paid to the custodial parent monthly as child support. The allocation also depends on the number of children involved in the child support case. They include:

  • 20% of the income for the first child
  • 27% of the income for 2 children
  • 33% of the income for 3 children
  • and extra 3% of the income for each additional child

Asides from income, other factors considered when determining child support payment includes:

  • Parenting time
  • Children’s eligibility for child support (under the age of 18)
  • Parent’s gross earnings
  • Shared or sole custody arrangements

Regardless, Alaska child support laws allow parents to modify child support orders as time goes on, except retroactive modifications.

How do I apply for Child Support in Alaska?

Parents can apply for child support agency services in Alaska by opening a case and completing a child support information form. To complete the process, they will require the following documents:

  • Child support payment history if available
  • Information on how to locate the other parent
  • Birth certificates for the child the support is being requested
  • Copies of a child support or custody order. Parents that do not have one can obtain an Alaska Court order from the court.

Although the process is relatively free, the department will charge for services such as genetic tests, attorney fees and process service. Usually, these costs are assigned to the parent who is ordered to pay child support.

The services that the agency provides include:

  • Locating absent parents
  • Establishing paternity and parentage
  • Establishing administrative child support orders
  • Enforcing and collecting court-ordered support payments
  • Reviewing and modifying the administrative child support orders

Interested individuals may also contact the department:

Alaska Child Support Services Division

550 W 7th Avenue, Suite 310

Anchorage, AK 99501–6699

Phone: 1(907) 269–6900

Fax: (907)787–3220

How do I Get Out of Paying Child Support in Alaska?

Child support laws in Alaska mandates that non-custodial parents must pay child support until they reach the age of emancipation at 19 years old, or till the child graduates from high school. Hence, the non-custodial or paying parent can get out of paying child support when the children receiving the payment become liberated.

Also, pursuant to Alaska’s statute, paying parents can get out of paying child support if the children involved are less than 18 0r 19 years but are;

  • capable of supporting themselves
  • living separately from the consenting guardians and parents.

However, if the parents intend to continue paying child support even after legal emancipation, they can petition the court for an order to continue child support. They can make this decision if the child is 19 but unmarried, living as a dependent with the caregiver, or actively pursuing a degree or vocational skill.

Asides from emancipation, parents can only modify court orders because child support is a mandatory legal obligation. Parents seeking to change or modify a court order must prove to the court that there has been a considerable change in circumstances that can influence paying child support. In response to the petition, the court will run another analysis on the paying parents’ income to create a different child support award.

What is Back Child Support in Alaska?

Back child support in Alaska is child support debt. It is the amount of unpaid child maintenance that a paying parent owes custodial parent after being court-ordered to make the payments within a specified time. Similarly, back child support in the state can be retroactive. This constitutes all owed child support payments before the court issued a child support order.

The state court system strictly enforces back child support payment because it is one of the leading causes of family impoverishment in the state, especially in families with separated parents. Hence, custodial parents can request these payments at any time with the assistance of the relevant agencies.

How do I Get Back Child Support Paid in Alaska?

Under Chapter 27 and Title 25 of the state statutes, the Alaska child support agency is responsible for enforcing child support orders to get back child support payments for affected caregivers. Following Federal and Alaska child support law, non-custodial parents that voluntarily fail to pay child support are subject to the following enforcement actions:

  • Income withholding orders from wages and property
  • Intercepting retirement checks and bank accounts
  • Intercepting Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
  • Reporting delinquent parents to credit bureaus
  • Voluntary payments by defaulting parent
  • Revocation of state occupational and driver’s licenses.
  • Liens against property, etc.

Is there an Alaska Statutes of Limitation on Child Support?

Under Title 25 and Chapter 27 of the Alaska Revised Statutes, there is no statute of limitations on collecting child support arrears in Alaska. Thus, if a paying parent misses child support payments, the state provides for 6% interest per year on missed payments.

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