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Andrea C. v. Marcus K.

Supreme Court of Alaska

August 7, 2015

ANDREA C., Appellant,
v.
MARCUS K., Appellee

Page 522

Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third Judicial District, Anchorage, Patrick J. McKay, Judge. Superior Court No. 3AN-04-08093 CI.

Andrea C., Pro se, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Appellant.

Marcus K., Pro se, Anchorage, Appellee.

Before: Fabe, Chief Justice, Winfree, Stowers, Maassen, and Bolger, Justices.

OPINION

Page 523

STOWERS, Justice.

I. INTRODUCTION

Andrea C.[1] appeals the superior court's decision to award Marcus K. primary physical and sole legal custody of their two children. Andrea argues the superior court made inadequate findings regarding Marcus's history of domestic violence, and she also challenges the superior court's application of the best interest factors. We affirm the superior court's custody decision for the reasons discussed below.

II. FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

A. Earlier Custody Proceedings[2]

Andrea C. and Marcus K. are the divorced parents of two children, Daniel and Bryson.[3] Since their divorce, Andrea and Marcus have engaged in a contentious custody battle. Although Marcus originally received only supervised visitation with the children because he had a history of domestic violence,[4] Marcus enjoyed primary physical custody and shared legal custody immediately prior to the custody modification at issue in this appeal.

This significant shift in custody appears to have been the result of two factors. First, Marcus rebutted the domestic violence presumption, making it possible for the superior court to award him physical and legal custody. Second, the superior court had increasing concerns regarding Andrea's parenting. For example, in 2006 the court noted that both parents had " emotionally abused" the children, but that Marcus had made " great strides in his ability to deal with [the] confrontation and stress associated with divided parenting." The court described Andrea as " the primary person that continually subjects the children to emotional abuse" and believed she was unable to recognize her shortcomings as a parent. The court later characterized Andrea as " controlling" and " manipulative."

In a related 2007 proceeding, the superior court took evidence regarding an interaction between Andrea and Daniel, which the court described as " disturbing." A custody investigation ordered in a 2010 modification proceeding also raised concerns regarding Andrea's relationship with Daniel, noting, " [I]t is clear there is a serious problem between Mother and [Daniel]. [Daniel's] escalating behavior and verbal ...


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