Heidi Britt March 26, 2021 Child Custody Attorney
Child custody attorney honolulu - If you and your spouse are going through a divorce, you have certainly some tough decisions to make. How will you make ends meet? What will happen to your family home? What will happen to your children? A good place to start is to learn how the legal divorce process works and, more importantly, to understand the options you have to cut the cost and stress of that process.
Divorce Law in Hawaii
Hawaii is a no-fault state. As a result, it doesn't matter whether both you and your spouse want a divorce. As far as the law is concerned, one of you is enough to file the divorce papers in Family Court and start the legal process.
At the end of that process, a judge will sign your divorce decree, which details all the terms of your divorce - e.g. your assets and debts division, and spousal support, if there is any.
If you and your spouse have children, the divorce decree will also cover custody and visitation, and child support: (a) the amount of child support calculated according to the current Family Court guidelines, and (b) how you and your spouse will take care of your children's health and education. Keep in mind that when it comes to child support, Hawaii Family Courts have a clear philosophy. They strongly believe that:
It is you and your spouse -- and not the court -- who should decide what's good for your children;
The more the two of you fight, the more you harm you children
You should fight in court only as last resort.
If you wish to get more information about the Hawaii divorce law, here is how you can get it.
The Hawaii Judiciary offers an excellent 1-hour free seminar, presented by a prominent attorney specialized in divorce law. The seminar is held every month in Honolulu, but is also available online. To find out when the next seminar will be held, or to watch it on your computer visit the Hawaii Judiciary website.
If after you attend or watch that seminar, you still need additional information about the law, you can go to your public library and ask them for the 3-Volume Hawaii Divorce Manual.
Once you know enough about the divorce legal process, the next question is -- what are your options to cut the cost and stress of that process?
Your 3 Options To Divorce
Your best option is, of course, that you and your spouse stay calm, discuss everything that goes into your Divorce Decree, and reach an agreement. In this case, you don't need anything or anybody else. Just go to your Family Court. Pick up what's called an "Uncontested Divorce Packet". Follow the instructions. Do the paperwork (or let a paralegal or attorney to that for you). And wait until a Family Court judge signs your Divorce Decree.
On the contrary, if you and your spouse can't agree on the terms of your divorce (or perhaps you can't even talk about them), then you are left with these two other options.
One option is litigation. You and your spouse hire your own attorney to represent you and negotiate on your behalf. And the second option is mediation. The two of you sit down with a neutral mediator, who helps you communicate, develop options, and reach an agreement on everything that needs to go into your divorce decree. In general, Hawaii Family courts favor mediation over litigation because it is cheaper and less stressful for you, your spouse, and your children.