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Honolulu Child Custody Attorneys

Reaching an intelligent resolution of child custody issues is one of the most emotionally intense aspects of divorce cases. Ideally, parents will be able to work out custody arrangements amicably. Our child custody lawyers in Honolulu will be by your side throughout the process to help you reach an agreement that works for both you and your ex and, most importantly, that benefits your child(ren).

Coates Frey & Hackett, AAL LLLC, is available to help you settle the emotionally charged child custody issues in your case. We have written the book on divorce and work to resolve contentious matters as amicably as possible. Call our custody lawyer in Hawaii today to review your case: 808-379-3538.

Answering Your Child Custody Questions

When you are trying to protect your family, it is reasonable to have questions. As we represent you through your child custody needs, we will also answer your questions about your needs, including ones like:

What are the child custody laws in Hawaii?

The two basic forms of child custody in Hawaii are legal custody and physical custody.

  • Legal custody: Legal custody refers to who is in charge of the decision-making process as to exactly how the child(ren) will be raised. This includes choices on educational, medical, religious and other major issues in the child’s life. It does not, however, include day-to-day or routine parental decisions.
  • Physical custody: Physical custody refers to where the child will physically live and which parent the child will live with, as well as parental time-sharing and visitation schedules. Physical custody may be “sole” or “joint.” If “sole,” the child resides primarily with one parent. If “joint,” the child resides with each parent on a relatively equal basis.

Contact us for assistance today. Our custody lawyers in Hawaii proudly serve Oahu and the neighboring Hawaiian Islands.

What is the difference between sole and joint custody?

Each of these can, in turn, be broken down into sole or joint custody. The parent who does not have sole physical custody usually has “reasonable” visitation rights. In other words, he or she can see the children during certain scheduled times (often alternating weekends). If the parents cannot agree, the court will set up a visitation schedule.

Not surprisingly, if the parties cannot reach their own agreement on this issue, the court will enter an order awarding custody, and often if left to the court’s discretion, neither party is too happy about the results. However, there are alternative arrangements for joint custody.

Our Honolulu child custody attorneys will help you obtain and maintain reasonable visitation and custody in your case.

How does visitation work in Hawaii?

In the event that one parent receives sole physical custody, the other parent has the right to reasonable visitation or time-sharing. It is highly encouraged that parents work together to create a visitation schedule that is conducive to both parents’ schedules and that maximizes the amount of time the child or children get to spend with each parent. If a reasonable time-sharing agreement cannot be met, pursuing mediation can be a great option to help come to an agreed-upon plan.

In joint physical custody cases, the time is essentially split equally and visitation schedules are not usually going to be necessary.

Is Hawaii a mother state?

Hawaii, much like other states, follows the “best interests of the child” standard when determining child custody, which means there is no legal preference for custody toward the mother or the father.

At what age can a child decide which parent to live with in Hawaii?

Although it is not the only factor in determining custody, the Hawaii court may consider a child’s wishes if he or she is aged 14 or older. The child will not be required to testify in court or choose between parents. Instead, he or she may be interviewed by a custody evaluator who will then include his or her wishes in a report to the court.

Can I move after I get divorced in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, if you have sole physical custody and want to move, you will typically need approval from the other parent or the court before you can move the child(ren) off the island. If the other parent is opposed to the move, the relocating parent needs to prove to the Hawaii Family Court that the move is in the best interests of the child(ren).

Our Honolulu child custody attorneys at Coates Frey & Hackett, AAL LLLC, have represented many parents who wish to move with their child(ren). We also have helped parents who oppose an ex’s relocation request.

Call 808-379-3538 our child custody experts in Honolulu, Hawaii, today.

How does modifying after move work?

If a primary custodial parent moves, the parents will need to draft a new custody and visitation order. There are a lot of options when it comes to long-distance visitation that can ensure that both parents receive quality time with their children. For example, you may request fewer but longer visits. Virtual visitation via video chat may also be a part of your visitation order.

How does parallel parenting work?

Parallel parenting is a way of co-parenting while still maintaining an enforced distance from your ex-spouse. It’s often the single best way to handle things when a relationship is so toxic that ex-spouses cannot communicate in a civil manner.

The basic rules of parallel parenting include the following:

  • All communication between the parents must be in writing.
  • All communication must be business-like and avoid personal comments.
  • Communications are to focus exclusively on parenting issues, like discussing your child’s health, school schedule, report card, etc.
  • No changes are allowed to any schedule unless it is communicated in advance and agreed upon in writing.
  • Schedules are conveyed entirely in writing (or through electronic calendars).
  • The child is never to be used as a go-between for messages.
  • No personal information that isn’t relevant to the child’s well-being is ever shared between the child’s parents.

In other words, communication is always “strictly business” and strictly limited in nature.

What does parallel parenting accomplish?

It minimizes the chances for hostile interactions in front of the child and allows both parents to take a step back from their conflicts with each other. That way, they can focus on their child’s needs and work together without actually engaging with each other after a divorce.

Get The Answers You Need

If you have questions about your child custody situation or another child-related issue, let our team offer you the information you are looking for. Call us at 808-379-3538 or reach out to us online to schedule your initial consultation today.