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Hawaii Family Law Blog

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, 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.

Joint custody may minimize the impact of divorce on your child

Deciding how to coordinate the care of your children after you and your spouse get divorced in Hawaii can be one of the most difficult decisions you may have to make. Regardless of how your relationship ended, there is a good chance that your spouse wishes to remain a part of your children's lives just as you wish. At Coates, Frey, Tanimoto & Gibson, AAL, LLLC, we know that establishing child custody is imperative and we are ready to help you do just that. 

While you may not have had the most positive experience being married to your spouse, you may still recognize that he or she is a good parent. Additionally, you may see that your children still love and respect your spouse and wish to continue building a relationship with him or her. As such, it is going to require that you put your own frustrations with that individual aside, and do your best to be flexible and cordial in developing a parenting plan that benefits everyone involved. 

How to help your child through a divorce

All children handle their parents' divorce differently. A child will handle changes in their life in a certain way depending on their age, level of attachment, maturity and personality. While some children could be severely affected by their parents' divorce, others will carry on with daily life as though nothing changed.

You should always make time to sit down with your child and explain to them the changes that are going to occur. If you have multiple children, you may want to have separate conversations with each of them so it is possible to tailor your explanation to their age and to address the individual concerns that they have. The following are some other ways that you can help your child through a divorce, regardless of their age.

Maintaining a strong work ethic during a divorce

When people are embroiled in a divorce with their significant other in Hawaii, it can be difficult for them to maintain focus and productivity at work. Often, thoughts of the changes within their personal lives can create a distraction from their job-related goals and objectives. Having mental clarity and being able to separate strong emotions from infiltrating work, is a constant challenge that many people have to actively focus on to prevent their divorce from hurting their career. 

One tip suggested by experts on the topic is that people refrain from responding immediately to all divorce-related communications. Rather, people should set aside a designated period of time each day where they focus on managing the details of their divorce. Outside of these hours, their focus should stay primarily on their work. They may benefit from notifying the various players of the divorce proceedings of their availability to also avoid being disturbed during inappropriate times. 

Psychological impacts of divorce don't have to be crippling

The psychological impact of a divorce can be hard to overcome. Humans tend to focus on the difficult aspects of major changes instead of seeing them as productive experiences. When you are in this position, you need to learn how to retrain your mind so that you are able to focus on the positive aspects of the new course of your life.

One of the main reasons why divorce is viewed as a negative event is because society has instilled that thought into people. You have to be able to look past the societal messages and focus on what this means for you. It is likely that you will realize that there are some very good points about the divorce.

Not all abuse is physical

Abuse in a marriage can take many forms. Physical abuse is much easier for both the victim and others to identify, but spouses in Hawaii need to also be aware of what constitutes non-physical abuse, which are emotional and psychological. 

According to HuffPost, subtle signs of an abusive relationship often start early on. These are the same signs that make someone seem like a perfect girlfriend or boyfriend. While romance is nice, an abuser will often go over the top to give flowers, gifts and attention. This is because in order to exert control, the abuser must make the victim trust and love at an early stage in the relationship.

High-conflict divorce comes with emotional damage

Going through a high-conflict divorce is a challenging experience for even those who want to see the marriage end. Throughout the time that you are going through the divorce and in the period after, you might need to work on reducing your stress and recovering from all the drama. This may not be easy, but it is beneficial.

You can't bottle your feelings. You have to learn how to address them so that they don't consume you. On top of that, you can follow these tips to help you deal with the impacts of the divorce's conflicts.

How to prepare for a successful divorce mediation

Couples in Hawaii who decide to get a divorce, but do not want it to be a contentious process, may want to consider mediation. This method uses a third-party mediator to help each partner work through decisions regarding asset division, alimony and child custody. When couples communicate and prepare correctly, mediation can cost much less than litigation and it is typically less stressful.

HuffPost discusses that choosing a mediator is the first step in the process, and that they are not all the same. During the mediation process, soon-to-be exes discuss a myriad of topics, and many of them can be challenging. Choosing a mediator that both partners trust to guide them through tough conversations is important. It is also a good idea to research the mediator, as they can come from different backgrounds. Look for one that is active in the profession, has a good amount of education in conflict resolution and only practices in family and divorce mediation.

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