Mallory D. v. Malcolm D.Annotate this Case
Malcolm D. and Mallory D. were married and had three children, Jason, Brooke, and Megan. In August 2009 Malcolm and Mallory filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. The parties agreed to joint legal custody and shared physical custody. In May 2010 Mallory moved to modify custody; she wanted sole legal and primary physical custody of Brooke and Megan, as well as additional visitation with Jason. Mallory asserted a change in circumstances because Brooke reported being singled out among the children for punishment and Malcolm being mean to her. Malcolm opposed, contending there was no change in circumstance to warrant custody modification and that the modification would not be in the best interests of the children. The superior court found that there was a change in circumstance regarding Brooke and Megan but denied Mallory's motion to modify custody for the daughters. Upon its review of the matter, the Supreme Court concluded that when both parents are found to have a history of domestic violence and neither parent is more likely to perpetrate violence than the other, the superior court has the discretion to determine that the presumption set forth in AS 25.24.150(g) does not apply. Furthermore, the Court Concluded that the superior court did not clearly err when making its factual findings and did not abuse its discretion when it weighed the best interest factors under AS 25.24.150(c) and determined that custody should not be modified.