Honolulu Child Custody Attorneys
Giving Your Hawaii Child the Best Life Possible
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 Tanimoto & Gibson, AAL LLLC is available to help you settle the emotionally charged child custody
issues in your case. Call our Honolulu child custody lawyer today to review
Hawaii Child Custody Laws
Divorcing spouses in Hawaii can decide with whom the children will live.
There are two basic forms of custody: legal and physical. Each of these
can, in turn, be broken down into sole or
joint custody. 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.
What Does Legal Custody Mean in Hawaii?
Legal Custody: Legal custody centers on decision-making authority. It refers to 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
Physical Custody: Physical custody generally focuses on the child’s actual residence
and the parental time-sharing and visitation schedules. Physical custody
refers to where the child will physically live and which parent the child
will live with. Physical custody may be "sole" or "joint."
If "sole," the child resides primarily with one parent. If "joint,"
the child resides with each parents on a relatively equal basis.
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.
Our Honolulu child custody lawyers will help you obtain and maintain reasonable
visitation and custody in your case.
Contact us for assistance today. We proudly serve Oahu and the neighboring islands.
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 towards 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?
Sharing custody of children can be challenging enough when both parents
live on the same island. When a custodial parent wishes to move, it can
have a profound effect on the child(ren) and their relationship with the
In Hawaii, a parent with primary physical custody of children usually needs
approval from the other parent or the court before he or she 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 Family Court that the move
is in the best interests of the child(ren).
Our Honolulu child custody attorneys at Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson,
AAL LLLC often represent parents who want to move away with the child(ren).
We also represent parents who oppose an ex’s relocation request.
Modifying Visitation After a Move
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 children. For example, you may request fewer but longer
visits. Virtual visitation via video chat may also be a part of your visitation order.
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.
How Does Parallel Parenting Work?
It facilitates communication while still reducing the possibility of negative
— and overtly hostile — interactions in the child’s presence.
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.
For more information regarding relocation after divorce and how it may
affect your custody orders, call our Honolulu custody attorneys at