Family Law

Divorce

Call us before you file for divorce.  We can help you formulate a gameplan before you make costly mistakes.  We can help you determine whether you may be entitled to spousal support (alimony) and what you can expect as far as division of your assets and debts.  If you have children, we can help you with custody, visitation, and child support.

If your ex-spouse is not complying with the divorce decree, or if you or your ex-spouse wants to make modifications to the divorce decree, you should contact a Hawaii family attorney immediately to make sure your rights are protected.

Alimony/Spousal Support

Transitional alimony may be awarded when a lower-earning spouse needs some time to adjust to a reduced standard of living.  Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded where one spouse is in need of the opportunity to go back to school, obtain necessary job training or seek gainful employment.

Annulment

An annulment can be granted when a marriage was invalid, such as when the husband or wife was already married (and not yet divorced) at the time of the second marriage.

Child Support

Child support is calculated by guidelines set forth by the State of Hawaii.  The amount is based on the parents’ income, as well as healthcare and childcare expenses.  If one party is voluntarily unemployed or “underemployed” (not earning what they could be), the court may impute income for purposes of calculating support.  If a person is involuntarily unemployed or is a stay-at-home parent of a young child, the court will generally not impute income.

Child Custody and Visitation

Legal Custody.  When determining custody, the court will make decisions regarding both types of custody.  If one parent is granted sole legal custody, that parent is responsible for making the major decisions of the child’s life.  This may include choosing whether the child will attend public or private schools, be involved in religious activities, or have voluntary medical procedures (such as orthodontia).  Many times, parents are granted joint legal custody and are expected to make the major life decisions for the children together.  If the parents cannot agree, or if there is a history of abuse or neglect, then one parent may be granted sole legal custody.

Physical Custody   Physical custody refers to where the child resides.  A parent with sole physical custody does not necessarily have the child in their “custody” 100% of the time.  Instead, a “parenting plan” (or visitation schedule) is put into place so that the non-custodial parent’s parenting time is clearly delineated.  Parenting plans vary greatly, allowing for individual scheduling based on the best interests of the child.  When parents share joint physical custody, they share their parenting time 50/50.  The child may go back and forth every few days, every other week, or by some other arrangement.  A joint custody arrangement may be very beneficial to the child, so long as the parents are willing to work together and keep conflict to a minimum.

Relocation with a Child

If you or the other parent wants to relocate with your child from the State of Hawaii, contact us immediately.  Relocation by a custodial parent can have dire consequences, and you need a Hawaii family lawyer to protect your rights.

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