Hawaii ranks very high for its quality of life when compared to other states, but the cost of living puts the state at the bottom in comparison with its 49 other counterparts. The high cost of living on the islands often contributes to many of the 5,000 divorces each year.
According to one attorney, “married couples, on average, have twice as much accumulated personal wealth as do single people.” When it comes to divorce, he says, “It’s almost cost-prohibitive for people to get divorced. The cost alone is enough to break the bank for an awful lot of people.” Filing fees in the state for a couple without children are $215. However, if there is a restraining order in place in a contested divorce, then the divorce can easily run $5,000, and cases that have abuse allegations can run between $50,000 to $100,000.
Another thing to consider is the family home. The courts often choose to sell the home because many couples simply cannot afford for one spouse to buy out the other spouse and then refinance the mortgage.
Alimony is not awarded in most cases, with only 9 percent of divorces ending with a divorce decree. Child support is also often higher in Hawaii. With the turn lately to joint custody, that can help as it cuts child support in half.
When it comes to child custody, it can be very difficult for visitation in many cases, especially if one parent moves to the mainland. The cost of flights back and forth can quickly add up.
If divorce is something that you are considering, an experienced attorney can help you learn more about your legal options.
Source: hawaiibusiness.com, “Divorce in Hawaii: Till Debt Do Us Part,” Jordan Virtue, accessed March 16, 2018