Stefan Otterson
  • Family Law, Arbitration & Mediation, Divorce...
  • Alaska
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Stefan Otterson has lived and practiced law in Anchorage since 1988. Stefan lived and worked in Europe for three years before attending the University of Utah, graduating suma cum laude in 1984. He received both an MBA and Law Degree from the University of Utah schools of Business and Law in 1988. Stefan started out in private commercial legal practice, but joined the Attorney General’s Office in 1990. There he was a child protection and juvenile delinquency prosecutor, and also represented the Divisions of Public Safety, Mental Health, and Medicaid. Since 2000 Stefan has practiced family law in courts all over Southcentral, Southwest and Northwest Alaska. Stefan is also trained in mediation and collaborative law, and has been a mediator for the court system, and a child advocate (guardian ad litem).

Practice Areas
  • Family Law
  • Arbitration & Mediation
  • Divorce
  • Juvenile Law
  • Appeals & Appellate
  • Domestic Violence
Additional Practice Areas
  • Adoption
  • Collaborative Law
  • Collaborative Divorce
  • Child Abuse & Neglect
  • OCS Relative Placement
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • French: Written
  • German: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Otterson Law & Mediation, P.C.
University of Utah
MBA (1988)
Honors: Wm & Opal Fields Scholarship
The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
J.D. (1988)
University of Utah
B.A. / English with writing emphasis, German minor (1984)
Honors: Summa Cum Laude
Activities: Graduation speaker, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi
Professional Associations
Alaska State Bar # 8811198
Alaska Association of Collaborative Professionals
- Current
Websites & Blogs
Stefan Otterson's Website Profile
Otterson Law & Mediation, P.C. Website
Legal Answers
24 Questions Answered

Q. Foster parents rights to adoption what are the legal options?
A: You should first do everything you can to work things out with the social worker. If possible, you should try to get the guardian ad litem to advocate in your favor. If you have no luck with the social worker, go up the chain to his/her supervisor, and on up. OCS has broad discretion to make placement decisions, so you're at a big disadvantage if you have to challenge them in court. If all else fails, you can intervene in the CINA proceeding to file a motion for placement, and ask for a hearing. Also ask for an order that OCS not make any changes pending a decision on your motion. You would have to show that the OCS placement decision is an abuse of discretion. You will probably want legal assistance, as this is a very difficult case to present.
Q. What does "I further allege the following as my affirmation defenses" mean in a divorce answer filing?
A: It probably means the person who wrote the Answer was trying to sound legal. He/she probably meant "affirmative" defenses. Certain types of defenses need to be specifically listed in an Answer. If a party lists them, it just preserves the right to argue them later. However, most of them have nothing to do with the issues you are dealing with in a divorce.
Q. Judge awards property to spouse in divorce.
A: If your former spouse refuses to comply with a requirement of your property division order, you can file a motion to enforce the order. You would file it under the divorce case number.
Q. Hi my sister who is legally age took mostly all of my belongings without permission and packed them up while i was away
A: Although you are family members, neither of you has an obligation to the other that goes beyond what two strangers would have. This isn't a matter of family law. You could report your sister's acts to the police, or you could bring a civil lawsuit yourself. Unless the property value was very high, you would do this in Small Claims Court, which has procedures that are conducive to handling things yourself without a lawyer.
Q. Can I hire a attorney that does unbundling service and then hire that same attorney to be at the hearing or trial?
A: Yes, both those things are possible. That is, they are not prohibited by any ethics rules, etc. However, you would need to ask the particular lawyer whether he/she is willing to move from unbundled assistance to full representation and a court appearance. Some are and some aren't. You should think about whether you want full representation for the duration of the case (which would normally require a large retainer) or just a court appearance at a specific hearing (which usually requires a smaller advance payment).
Q. Can they take my kids because I was going to the battered woman's shelter?
A: No, there must be evidence of abuse or neglect, or failure to protect from abuse at the hands of another. That may or may not be present when a battered woman's shelter is involved. If there has been domestic violence, the question is whether the children have been exposed to it, and whether you have done what you can to protect them from such exposure. Using the shelter is usually a positive sign, as long as you don't go back and forth between the batterer and the shelter, taking the kids back into contact with the batterer.
Q. Does power of attorney override a last will and testament
A: A power of attorney generally ends upon the death of the person who executed it. The will does not come into effect until after the person's death, so in the simplest sense, the power of attorney cannot override the will. However, many things can be done through a power of attorney during the persons life that will affect what assets end up being subject to the will. This is something you would need to discuss with a probate/estate planning attorney.
Q. I live with companion; he owns 50% of house. Can the kids that own the other 50% through me out if friend dies before me
A: This is actually more of a real estate question. If the kids inherit your companion's 50%, then they would have total ownership of the house. Unless you have a lease, I don't know what right you would have to stay in the house against the owner's wishes. A real estate lawyer might find a different way around this, but it is not something that's addressed in the family law statutes.
Q. What should I do if my ex-wife has been doing dugs in front of my son and has a boyfriend that is a criminal absconded?
A: Sounds like you have two issues which can be separated. If you think your ex-wife's home is unsafe, and can find enough solid evidence to back up your concern, then you may want to file a Motion to Modify your custody order. Her failure to buy tickets and to give you her new address seems to fall within your current order. If she isn't complying with the prerequisites for a summer visit, then you should file a Notice with the court that you intend to forgo the summer visit unless she fulfills her obligation by a given date. Be sure to serve her with the Notice at her address of record, and at any other address you know about. That puts the ball in her court, and if she takes no action, then she can't complain later about you denying her visit without cause.
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Contact & Map
Otterson Law & Mediation, P.C.
425 G St
Anchorage, AK 99501
Telephone: (907) 868-5050