AARON S. ROSENBLUM, Appellant,
ANGELICA M. PERALES, Appellee.
Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third Judicial District, No. 3AN-11-05890 CI Anchorage, Andrew Guidi, Judge.
Steven J. Priddle, Law Offices of Steven J. Priddle, Anchorage, for Appellant.
Angelica M. Perales, pro se, Anchorage.
Before: Fabe, Chief Justice, Winfree, Stowers, Maassen, and Bolger, Justices.
This appeal arises from a custody dispute in which the superior court awarded primary physical custody, child support, and interim attorney's fees to the mother. The father claims that the custody decision failed to include adequate findings, gave disproportionate weight to a single factor, and was based on an improper factor. The father also argues that the superior court abused its discretion in issuing the child support order and in its award of interim attorney's fees. We affirm the superior court's decisions on child custody and attorney's fees. We remand the issue of child support for clarification.
II. FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
John,  born in March 2007, is the son of Angelica Perales and Aaron Rosenblum. John was conceived when both parents were in the Army and stationed in Texas, and a home paternity test indicated that Aaron was the father. Aaron told Angelica that he was not ready to be a father but would try to spend as much time with John as possible; his hesitation stemmed in part from the fact that his work was soon going to require that he move to Virginia.
Aaron visited John and Angelica two or three times a week for the several months before he moved away. While living in Virginia he continued to maintain contact and to voluntarily pay child support. Between May 2007 and December 2008, Aaron saw John about three times.
In August 2007 Angelica was honorably discharged from the Army. She and John remained in Texas until December 2008, when they moved to Alaska. In January 2011 Angelica informed Aaron that she would be traveling to Texas for a funeral, and she offered to bring John to visit Aaron in Virginia. Aaron, who in the meantime had married Shaun Rosenblum, accepted Angelica's offer. John stayed with Aaron, Shaun, and their young son from mid-January to early March 2011. During the visit Aaron and Shaun developed some concerns about John's well-being, and Aaron told Angelica that he wanted them to work out a written agreement on custody. The exchange became acrimonious and, although the parents' accounts conflict, Angelica later testified that Aaron refused to return John to her until they had reached an agreement. Angelica filed this custody action; the parents attempted to work out an agreement but were unsuccessful. John returned to Alaska with Angelica.
In her complaint, Angelica requested primary physical custody and shared legal custody. Aaron accepted the court's jurisdiction and asked for the same relief: primary physical custody and shared legal custody. An interim hearing took place in July 2011 before Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi, during which Aaron and Angelica agreed to an interim visitation schedule. They also informed the judge that despite the absence of an official child support order, Aaron had been making monthly payments to Angelica ranging from $300 to $900, and that past child support was not at issue.
In September 2011 Angelica moved for interim attorney's fees, citing the divorce exception to Civil Rule 82 and the economic disparity between her and Aaron. The superior court granted her motion and denied Aaron's subsequent motion for reconsideration. A custody trial took place in January 2012. After the close of evidence, the superior court made extensive oral findings on the record and concluded that it was in John's best interests that primary physical custody be awarded to Angelica. The subsequent written order outlined the custody award and incorporated by reference the court's oral findings. An interim and permanent child support order followed in June 2012, requiring Aaron to make monthly ...