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Hawaii Family Law Blog

Fathers and bias in child custody cases

Some fathers in Hawaii who are going through a divorce might wonder whether they will be at a disadvantage in a child custody case. Traditionally, this was true since mothers often stayed home with their children while fathers went to work. As a result, when couples got divorced, it was assumed that the mother would be the best caregiver for the children.

Today, this is no longer the case. Fathers are more likely to be seen as equal parenting partners, and they might share custody with the mother or even get custody themselves. However, some courts may still be biased against fathers. They may assume that a father is not nurturing, does not know how to take care of children or lacks the proper time to take care of children.

3 ways mediation can benefit you and your children

While many people equate a divorce with a lot of drama, this doesn't have to be the case. It is possible for two reasonable adults to pursue a divorce in a respectful manner without having to battle with each other at every turn. By making the decision to take on this task together, they can reap several benefits.

If you and your ex are willing to compromise on the divorce terms, you will likely be able to go through mediation to get these matters settled. Going through this instead of taking your case through a trial can help you considerably as long as you and your ex can both put your differences aside to make decisions.

Advantages of a prenuptial agreement

Some couples getting married in Hawaii assume they do not need a prenuptial agreement because they are not wealthy. However, there are other reasons partners may want to sign a prenup. For example, people who have children from a previous marriage may want a prenup to protect their assets for those children.

Marriage does not necessarily mean mingling all assets. For example, property that a partner brings into marriage or inheritances they receive during the marriage are usually considered separate property. However, this gets more complicated if the property is mingled with marital resources. An example of this might be a home that one person owns at the time of the marriage. Using income earned during the marriage, which may be joint property, to pay the mortgage could result in a court classifying the home as joint property. An inheritance might be considered joint property if it is deposited into a shared account or used to upgrade joint property, such as a home owned by both individuals.

Distance does not have to hurt the parent-child relationship

After a divorce, some parents in Hawaii might have face having to move away from their children due to circumstances in their personal life or in their careers. The move, particularly after divorce, might bring up some emotions that could potentially affect the parent-child relationship. However, parents can continue to develop loving, supportive parent-child relationships even if they need to move far away.

Technology has made it a lot easier to communicate constantly and this is a benefit for parents who live far away from their children and who might not have primary child custody of them. Email, Instagram, and the various video chat apps available allow parents and children instant day-to-day communication. However, while establishing set hours for calling and chatting works well in this situation, it is also good to surprise children by contacting them at different times, just to wish them well on a new activity or ask about something the child was concerned with.

3 reasons to consider filing an uncontested divorce in Hawaii

The word "divorce" conjures images of dramatic courtroom scenes in the minds of most people, but that doesn't mean that the only way to end your marriage involves an acrimonious battle in the courtroom. Hawaii allows spouses who want to dissolve their marriage to file an uncontested divorce.

Uncontested divorces typically do not involve allegations of fault on the part of either spouse. In fact, it is common for couples filing uncontested divorces to simply cite an irrevocable breakdown of the marital union as the cause for the filing.

Dealing with a business during a divorce

Financial issues can be some of the most significant factors impacting a person's decision to divorce. After all, the effects of asset division can linger on long after emotional and relationship issues have been handled. For business owners in Hawaii, the costs can be especially significant. Entrepreneurs with small and midsized businesses may discover that their companies are their largest single marital asset. As a result, the property division process may affect the business itself and its future potential.

In many cases, one spouse is more involved than the other one in the business. A buyout agreement can settle the divorce while keeping the enterprise intact. One spouse may walk away with a greater share of real estate, retirement funds and other assets while the other individual keeps the business in his or her name alone. When a large share of family assets is bound up in the company, it can become more complicated. The business may need to take on debt to secure an agreement to buy the other spouse out. The valuation of the firm itself will also need to be credibly established, a process that can be costly and time-consuming. There may be complex issues involved in valuation, such as future planned product launches or potential investments.

Mediation can help you settle your case outside family court

Divorces can certainly run up a tab, and some people find themselves drowning in debt as a result of them. No one, especially not your attorney, wants to see that happen to you.

That's why it's a smart idea to work toward an uncontested divorce. While there many be disputes and arguments that you have, it's best if you can resolve those and avoid the court room. If you do have to go to trial, there is no guarantee that you'll get the outcome you expect. Additionally, there are further fees and expenses related to going to court that you can avoid by settling in mediation or through other alternative dispute resolution methods.

Personal growth can support efforts to co-parent

Co-parenting has many advantages for divorced parents in Hawaii, but more significantly are the benefits it will provide for the children they share together. When two parents are able to maintain enough of a relationship to continue raising their children synergistically despite their marriage ending, they can help their children experience more fully the reward of having two parents who are committed to their growth and success. 

One thing that parents must remember is how critical their own personal growth and well-being is to maintain. In spite of a divorce, many people become so involved in making decisions related to their split or managing their emotions that their self-care takes a serious backseat. When this happens, people may find it significantly more difficult to provide the love, support and optimism that their children need to thrive despite changes in the familial dynamic. 

Negotiation tactics for property division in divorce

Property division is one of the biggest challenges for many people going through a divorce. This is often hard to work through because there is so much that has to be split. You have two primary options when you are working through this.

First, you can battle over every single asset that is marital property. Second, you can choose what to try to get your way with and let the rest fall by the wayside. The way you handle this can have a significant impact on the ultimate outcome.

What is pre-divorce counseling?

If you are unhappy in your marriage, you may think that the best option is divorce. Before you file the paperwork with a Hawaii court, however, you could consider pre-divorce counseling with your spouse. Unlike marriage counseling, the goal of pre-divorce counseling is not to help you and your spouse remain married. Rather, pre-divorce counseling may help you and your spouse have an amicable divorce that produces the best outcomes for you and your children.

According to marriage.com, pre-divorce counseling may help reduce the stress and conflict that occurs during a divorce. It may be especially helpful if you have children, because it may help you and your spouse maintain healthy boundaries during the proceedings, reducing the emotional toll on your family. A counselor may be able to help you and your spouse improve your communication to ensure the divorce negotiations go smoothly and the process is as quick and simple as possible. You may also be able to work with your spouse and the counselor to determine what post-divorce living situation is best for your children.

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