The following bits of "free advice", for what it's worth, is based on our 50 years of combined experience. While no lawyer can tell you what to do, or make you do anything, we offer counsel based on our experience.


10 Things You Should Know about Divorce in Hawaii.

September 20, 2019

By: Adrienne King

  1. There is No common law in Hawaii. Meaning you’re not married until you are legally married and you are not divorced until you are legally divorced according to case law.

  2. Don't hesitate to contact several lawyers before you retain one because contested custody cases are extremely personal and stressful. Best to feel comfortable with whomever you choose. You want someone who CARES about YOU and YOUR children

  3. Know where the money is, what financial accounts exist, make copies and know how to access the computer for information.

  4. When a divorce is filed, there is entered an automatic financial restraining order. This means you and your spouse, after your spouse is served, will get in trouble if you empty or transfer bank accounts or rack up charge cards for anything other than normal living expenses.

  5. Know that kids never testify in divorce cases. But, kids can write letters to the judge, or, if money is hard, the court can assign a state worker to talk to everyone or you and your spouse can pay $5000+ for a psychologist or social worker to do a more in-depth investigation and submit a report to the court.

  6. An award of alimony is very rare. There is no hard and fast rule or calculation, like child support. It's based on one person's need and the other person's ability to pay. Alimony will not be awarded by the court if the asking spouse is working, has a career and education.

  7. Alimony is not awarded so one can maintain a particular lifestyle. A divorce is usually a financial disaster for both parties, but more often the woman. If there are substantial assets, real estate, retirement, investments, that will negate any reason to award alimony in addition. Best to consult a tax attorney if there are substantial assets to divide to minimize the financial hit.

  8. Child support, unlike alimony, is determined by a fixed formula, which calculations are set forth by a legislative committee every 5 to 10 years. You plug in the numbers and out pops the amount to be paid.

  9. Child support is calculated by inputting each parent's GROSS monthly income, the number of children, the amount paid for child care and for health insurance and if the one parent has sole physical custody, or the parents have 50/50 custody. There are other considerations but best to consult an attorney if you have questions.

  10. Fighting over the kids is expensive. The law does not discriminate against fathers, a judge may, but not the law, except in case of babies and nursing infants.

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