Pingree v. CossetteAnnotate this Case
Beth Pingree and Andre Cossette had a daughter together and then separated while the daughter was still very young. The parents lived in different towns and alternated physical custody of the daughter. After they were unable to agree on a permanent arrangement for shared custody, Pingree filed a complaint for primary physical custody and Cossette counterclaimed for the same. Both parents wanted primary physical custody during the school year; the father, a commercial fisherman, was unavailable for two to three summer months each year. The superior court found that equal custody time was appropriate but impossible given the separate domiciles, and also that minimal custodial time with the father would be harmful to the daughter. The court therefore awarded primary physical custody to the father, so long as the parents continued to live in separate locations. The mother appealed, but seeing no reversible error in the court’s evidentiary decisions, factual findings, or discretionary decisions, the Alaska Supreme Court affirmed the custody decree.