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What to Know About Dissolving Your Marriage in Hawaii

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2024 | Divorce

Going through a divorce can be a stressful experience anywhere, but amidst the emotional turmoil, legal considerations add another layer of complexity. If you’re facing divorce in the Aloha State, knowing what to expect can help you to manage this challenging life transition.

Residency requirement: Domiciled in Hawaii

The state has residency requirements before you can file for divorce: you or your spouse must be domiciled in the state.

No-fault grounds: Ending the marriage amicably (or not)

The Aloha State is a no-fault divorce state. This means you don’t need to justify why you want to divorce your spouse by proving they did something wrong, such as infidelity or abuse. Instead, you simply need to state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and there’s no chance of reconciliation. This can simplify the process and reduce conflict but doesn’t eliminate the need to resolve other issues like property division and child custody.

Dividing up your life: Property and spousal support

Hawaii follows equitable distribution, meaning marital property (assets and debts accumulated in the course of the marriage) is divided fairly, not necessarily equally. This includes real estate properties, vehicles, bank accounts and retirement funds.

Separate property, owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, is ideally not subject to division. Spousal support (alimony) may also be awarded depending on factors such as how long the marriage lasted, income disparity and childcare needs.

Children in the mix: Navigating child custody and support

If you have minor children, child custody and support will be a major focus of the divorce proceedings. The state prioritizes the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements.

This may involve sole custody for one parent, joint custody with shared parenting time or other arrangements depending on the specific circumstances. The child support amount is calculated based on a statutory formula considering both parents’ incomes.

Divorce is rarely easy, but understanding the process in Hawaii can help you navigate it more confidently. You can also benefit from consulting with an experienced legal team and seeking emotional support from friends and family. While the end of a marriage can be difficult, a brighter future awaits.