If you and your spouse are considering separating, you may wonder if you should pursue a full divorce or a legal separation. This blog post will explore the advantages of legal separation in Hawaii and explain why some couples choose this route instead of getting divorced.
What Is Legal Separation?
Legal separation is a court-ordered arrangement that allows couples to live separately but remain legally married. Unlike divorce, which terminates the marriage, a legal separation does not dissolve the marital bond between two people. Since legally separated couples are still technically married, they retain certain rights and benefits associated with being married.
Filing for Legal Separation In Hawaii
The first step in filing for legal separation in Hawaii is to file a petition with the family court. This form must include information about both spouses and be signed by both parties.
The form will also ask for details about any children involved and a statement of why the couple wants to separate. Once the petition is filed, it will be reviewed by the court, and both parties will receive notifications of when their hearing will occur.
Four Benefits of Legal Separation in Hawaii
Temporary Protection from a Spouse Struggling with Addiction Issues
Legal separation in Hawaii allows couples to temporarily separate while taking the time necessary to evaluate their relationship. This can be especially beneficial when one spouse is struggling with addiction issues, as it can provide both spouses with an opportunity to get help without making a permanent decision about their marriage.
During this time, a qualified attorney can help you draft an agreement protecting both spouses' rights and interests, such as child support and custody arrangements.
Keeping Health Insurance
Under a legal separation agreement, each spouse remains eligible for health insurance coverage through their partner's plan. In addition, both spouses are entitled to keep any other benefits associated with their partner's plan, such as vision or dental insurance coverage.
This is often beneficial for families who do not have access to alternative healthcare plans or cannot afford other forms of health insurance coverage.
In some instances where couples have mutually agreed upon a legal separation agreement, they may be able to claim certain tax benefits under federal law.
For example, if one spouse has a significantly higher income than the other, they may be able to take advantage of certain deductions and credits that could lower their overall tax obligation.
A qualified attorney familiar with Hawaii's laws can help determine whether this applies to your circumstances.
Uphold Religious and Moral Obligations
In some cultures or religions, religious leaders or authorities see divorce as taboo or even forbidden. For those who wish to uphold these beliefs but also want the practical benefits of separating from their partner, legal separation offers an alternative solution that allows them to remain married yet still legally separated from each other in terms of financial obligations and parenting responsibilities.
This option provides peace of mind for those who wish to maintain strong moral values while still creating a safe distance between themselves and their partners should it become necessary due to circumstances beyond their control.
Related article you might find helpful: What Happens if We Can’t Make Decisions About Our Children?
Legal Separation Attorneys In Hawaii
Legal separations offer numerous advantages over traditional divorces for those seeking relief from an unhappy marriage in Hawaii. They allow couples not yet ready for divorce the chance to live separately while preserving certain essential benefits associated with marriage, such as keeping health insurance coverage and tax breaks intact.
Additionally, it provides temporary protection for those dealing with addiction issues or abuse within the relationship until both parties feel comfortable reuniting without having gone through divorce proceedings beforehand. It's clear why more and more couples choose legal separations in Hawaii.
If you and your partner seek a legal separation, contact our family law attorneys at Coates Frey & Hackett, AAL LLLC. With their knowledge and experience, they will guide you throughout the entire process and ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. (808) 518-6376