Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third Judicial District, Valdez, Daniel Schally, Judge pro tem. Superior Court No. 3VA-13-00035 CI.
Jason R. Green, Pro se, Valdez, Appellant.
No appearance by Appellee.
Before: Fabe, Chief Justice, Winfree, Stowers, Maassen, and Bolger, Justices.
Jason Green and Courtney Parks disputed custody of their infant daughter. The superior court awarded joint legal custody but gave Courtney primary physical custody and the " final say" if the parties could not agree on issues of their child's welfare. Jason appeals the court's award of custody, a condition that he not consume any alcohol before or during visitation, and the order that he pay all visitation-related travel expenses. We affirm the custody award and the allocation of visitation expenses, but we remand for reconsideration of whether the evidence supports the no-alcohol condition on Jason's visitation.
II. FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
Jason Green and Courtney Parks had a daughter in March 2013. Each parent filed a complaint for custody. Shortly thereafter, without prior notice to Jason, Courtney moved to Florida with the child.
The superior court held an evidentiary hearing in October 2013. Courtney presented evidence that Jason was controlling and emotionally abusive. Jason presented evidence that Courtney was not allowing his mother, who also lived in Florida, to have reasonable access to their daughter.
At the end of the hearing the superior court made oral findings. It found that the presumption in favor of joint legal custody had not been overcome, but that due to the parents' serious difficulties in communicating, Courtney would have the final say in decisions about their daughter's well-being if the parties could not otherwise agree. The court also found that Jason's behavior toward Courtney did not rise to the level of domestic violence, but that it was controlling and demeaning and was relevant to the custody determination in the context of Jason's ability
to provide for the child's emotional and mental needs. It found that Courtney was " defensive" toward Jason and his mother, which interfered with her ability to encourage a close relationship between Jason and their daughter. But the court concluded that the child had been living in a stable environment with Courtney, Courtney had been able to meet her needs, and no other factors weighed against awarding ...