Honolulu Child Support Lawyers
Giving You and Your Child the Support You Deserve
Parenthood is a two-way street. When you and your partner have a baby,
each parent typically assumes that both parents will be present and together
going forward to provide love, care, and support to the child. However,
if you and your partner decide to separate or are no longer together at
the time of the child’s birth, child support can and should be established
to provide legal protection to the parent with
custody or between two parents with joint physical custody where one parent has
greater income. Child support ensures that the other parent continues
to contribute an appropriate amount of money to provide for the financial
and economic needs of the child.
For more information regarding child support as it pertains to your specific
case, call our Honolulu child support attorneys at
(808) 518-6376. We serve Oahu and the neighboring islands.
How Child Support Works
Child support is meant to assist the custodial parent in paying for some
of the child’s expenses. These costs could include the child’s
basic necessities like health care, food, and clothing. Additionally,
child support allows the parent to provide extra experiences to the child
like enrolling in extracurricular activities, sports or going on a trip.
In Hawaii, child support payments are most often made through wage assignment.
This means that the funds are transferred directly from the paying parent
to the custodial parent through the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA).
The parents may elect to handle payments directly between the two of them,
so long as they agree to do so in writing. Our lawyers can help create
and implement this agreement.
How Much Is Child Support in Hawaii?
Hawaii is one of only two states in the country that use the Melson Formula
Model in order to calculate each parent’s share of child support.
That means that if you aren’t accustomed to how child support is
determined in Hawaii, it could come as a big surprise because it differs
significantly from most of the rest of the country.
Here are some basics that you need to know:
- The Melson Formula Model starts with the idea that a child in an intact
household benefits from the pooled resources of both parents.
- The idea continues with the presumption that the child should continue
to receive roughly the same benefit of that pooled income that he or she
would have received if the marriage had remained intact.
In many states, no further consideration is given to the parents’
basic needs. This is where Hawaii’s system diverges and becomes
somewhat more complex. Each parent’s
basic needs are evaluated and the formula used to calculate support takes those basics
- What you consider to be a basic need and what the court considers a basic
need can differ sharply. For example, your mortgage and car payment may
be far more than what the court considers necessary for your basic needs
— in which case, you aren’t going to be able to factor those
in to your calculations.
- The formula used to determine support starts with each parent’s gross
(pre-tax or other deductions) income.
- Anything paid toward the child’s health care or childcare can be
used to reduce a support obligation.
- Alimony, or spousal support, payments may also be factored into the final
- Even in situation where there is joint physical custody and the child spends
50 percent of his or her time with each parent, one parent is still likely
to owe child support to the other unless the incomes are virtually identical.
The goal of child support is to make life continue as smoothly as possible
for the child, regardless of where he or she is living. That means that
the parent with the higher income is almost certain to pay some amount
of minimal support to the parent with lower income even when custody is shared.
It’s important to remember that each custody and support situation
is unique. A Honolulu child support attorney can provide specific advice
in your case.
Is Child Support Mandatory in Hawaii?
In Hawaii, both parents are legally required to financially support their
What Age Does Child Support Stop in Hawaii?
In Hawaii, the paying parent is required to support his or her children
until the age of 18. However, the age limit may be extended to 23 if the
child is enrolled full-time in an accredited college/university, or in
a vocational/trade school.
What Does a Child Support Attorney Do?
Our Honolulu child support lawyer can help ensure payments are made on
time and in the appropriate amount. Additionally, our lawyers can help
adjust the payment amounts to address any changes in financial standing
of either parent such as a lost job or new salary.
Our Honolulu child support attorneys provide professional insight, counsel,
and assistance regarding:
- Filing any necessary documents
- Clarifying child support orders to ensure both parties are in agreement
and sufficiently understand what is required of them
- Calculating child support payment amounts in accordance with the law
- Representing you if a court hearing or CSEA administrative hearing is necessary
- Working with you to request a modification to the amount of child support
received or to be paid due to a significant change in circumstances
- Working with you and the CSEA to enforce or to modify child support payments
Contact Our Honolulu Child Support Attorney Today
Our family at Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson cherishes your family and
the families in our community. Our Honolulu child support lawyers work
with you to protect your
keiki and to get your family the assistance you deserve.
Contact one of our Honolulu child support attorneys today to get help with your case.