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We ‘Wrote The Book’ On Divorce In Hawaii

Hawaii Family Law Blog

Plan for the journey of your single life

Realizing that your marriage is over means that you need to take steps to prepare for your single life. This isn't going to be easy, but making sure that you handle things can help you to be less stressed as you adjust.

Whether you have already found out about the divorce or you are think that it is coming soon, you can start to get things ready. It will be a while before you are able to receive the divorce settlement, so you should plan to venture out on your own.

Should you create a prenuptial agreement?

Marriage is an exciting step to take with your romantic partner, and there are any personal and legal benefits you may gain by getting married. However, it is also important to understand that you may end up losing property and/or financial assets if you get divorced. Hawaii law does not follow a "community property" stance that splits property equally between divorcing spouses. Instead, a court may divide your assets in the event of a divorce. Creating a prenuptial agreement may help you retain some control over your financial circumstances in the event you get divorced.

If you get divorced in Hawaii, a judge may determine which property and assets go to you and your spouse. In most cases, a judge takes several factors into account when making property determinations: employability, skills, medical needs and special financial circumstances. He or she may also factor in the value of any unpaid work that you may perform, such as maintaining your household and being a caregiver to your children.

When a custody dispute affects your career

Child custody can be one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce, not only because a dispute can lead to strong emotions and courtroom stressors but because of the way in which the outcome may impact a child’s life. Moreover, a custody dispute can affect parents in all sorts of ways as well, and in this post, we will look into some career-related concerns involving custody disputes. If you expect that the process of determining how custody will be awarded will be challenging and contentious, it is important to prepare and do what you can to minimize these difficulties.

First of all, when someone is going through tough divorce issues, especially those involving the custody of their kids, they may be very stressed out and have difficulty sleeping at night. This can affect their job performance and may even lead to a demotion, being fired, taking time off work or voluntarily quitting. Furthermore, some parents may have more difficulty while looking for work during or after a custody dispute.

Grandparents' rights in Hawaii

Most likely assume that family matters begin and end with the members of an individual nuclear family. Yet as societal norms shift, immediate family members have increasingly been placed into roles where their considerations must also be determined when dealing with issues such as custody and visitation. Both in Hawaii and throughout the rest of the U.S., grandparents specifically are seemingly becoming more and more involved in their grandchildren's lives. According to information shared by the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 10 percent of American grandparents have at least one grandchild in their households. When grandparents are heavily involved in the rearing of a child, their rights might also be considered in family law rulings. 

One concern that many grandparents may have is seeing their access to their grandchildren greatly limited should the children's parents divorce or there be a falling out between themselves and their adult children. Many might think that it is well within a parent's rights to not allow grandparents to see their grandchildren, yet lawmakers realize that having a strong relationship with loving grandparents may be important to a child's upbringing. 

Dealing with post-divorce emotions

If you are about to begin the divorce process, you might think that once you sign the final papers, the whole ordeal will be over and you will be ready to move on with your life. However, you might discover that you have mixed feelings about your ex both before and after the divorce becomes final. This is not unusual. One day you might completely despise your ex-husband and on the next you could miss him more than you have ever missed anyone else.

Riding the emotional rollercoaster after a divorce is completely normal and something that most people go through. Fortunately, there are several ways you can cope with these constantly changing emotions.

3 factors to think about when you are considering mediation

Some individuals going through a divorce might be surprised to learn that there are different ways to come up with the divorce terms. Some opt for mediation, while others decide that this isn't possible and need to go through a divorce trial in Honolulu.

When you are exploring these options, carefully consider some of the benefits of mediation. You also have to think about the disadvantages so you can determine if it is an appropriate option for you.

Determining the child's best interests in Hawaii custody cases

When parents in Hawaii cannot reach agreements cooperatively regarding the care and custody of their children, the decision falls to the court. To make their decisions, family law judges may hear testimony, review evidence and consider a wide range of factors. At Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson, AAL, LLLC, we have helped many parents understand how the court determines the best interests of the child and have aided them in preparing for their custody hearings.

Under Hawaii state law, family law judges may consider the history of your and your former partner’s contributions to your child’s caregiving and parenting. The court also looks at the existing relationships between you and your child, and between your child and his or her other parent. Further, family law judges may take into account your willingness, and that of your child’s other parent, to develop and implement a plan to meet your child’s needs, schedule and interests, as well as to encourage and allow the child to remain connected to the non-custodial parent’s family.

Updating your estate plans after your divorce

The completion of your divorce proceedings in Hawaii may bring with it a good deal of relief. This comes from assuming that the whole ordeal is over. In reality, however, there may still be much work to do. Officially separating your spouse from your life may require revisiting several important matters. One of these is the administration of your estate. Revising a will is something many forget to do following a divorce, which prompts many to come to us here at Coates Trey Tanimoto & Gibson, AAL, LLC concerned their loved ones failed to do that very thing before they died. 

Their concern is whether their loved ones' ex-spouses now stand to inherit their estates. If you share the same concern, you should take comfort in knowing that the state understands that people often forget to think about this particular task following their divorces. Thus, it has created laws to compensate for this forgetfulness. 

Is it possible to modify a custody arrangement?

Parents have the right to petition Hawaii family courts to adjust court orders established during their divorce. For example, one parent can ask for a modification of their child support payments if they lose their job and income.

It is also possible to revise a custody arrangement. However, there are specific circumstances and factors necessary to make this kind of modification.

Making vacation plan as a blended family with custody orders

When you have divorced and enter into a new relationship, you will become part of a blended family if you have children. You need to think carefully about certain aspects of life when this happens because you now have what can be thought of as two families. Vacation planning can sometimes be a nightmare as you and your spouse both have children from other relationships that you want to bring.

Your first step when you are taking a vacation as a blended family is to look at the custody agreement for all children involved. You need to make note of anything in the order that might impact what you are doing for the vacation. This can be the scheduling, geographical restrictions or any other matter.

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