Honolulu Modification Attorneys
Enforcing Court Orders on Oahu and Neighboring Islands
At Coates Frey & Hackett, AAL LLLC, we understand that life changes
frequently and without warning. Whatever happens, we are dedicated to
adapting to situations in ways meant to benefit you and your
keiki, or children. Our attorneys are available to residents of Hawaii to assist
child support, or
Call Coates Frey & Hackett, AAL LLLC today for help modifying your agreement to reflect your current needs:
Modification of Child Custody
Child custody can be relatively easy to modify in Hawaii. The most effective
approach is to discuss the matter directly with the other parent. If the
modification is mutually accepted, it can be accomplished with a written
agreement that becomes a court order upon approval by the court without
a hearing, and if it is in the child's best interests, the request will
typically be granted and legally enforceable.
If only one parent is pushing for a change in custody, the process is more
difficult. To begin, they will have to file a request with the court.
During this process, the parent proposing a change must:
- Provide proof that the change would be beneficial for the child
- Show that the current circumstances of the parent or child have changed,
thus making the arrangement difficult to maintain
- Prove that the benefits of the change are greater than any possible inconveniences
the child will encounter while growing accustomed to the new schedule
These cases are taken very seriously and Hawaiian courts recognize the
potential harms that frequent change in a child’s schedule can have
on them as they grow up. For that reason, cases where only one parent
is requesting change can be difficult and require ample proof of the benefits
available to the child if the modification is accepted.
Modification of Child Support
Like child custody, child support may be adjusted as necessary after its
This typically happens for one of three reasons:
- Change in income of either parent, the one paying or receiving child support
- Change in the expenses of the child and the necessary costs of raising them
- Change in the number of children receiving child support as other children
age out of eligibility requirements.
Once a reason for change comes up, the parents have two ways to approach
Any changes in child support will take place either:
Judicially at family court
Administratively at Child Support Enforcement Agency
Both options have their appealing features as well as their burdens. For
a judicial change, a motion needs to be filed. The case is usually faster
overall, though rather difficult for those who are unrepresented by a
lawyer. Other issues like custody and visitation may also be discussed,
which is difficult to defend and fight for your desired outcome without
an attorney present. The administrative approach is slower but limits
the topics of discussion to child support and the costs of the medical
insurance of the child. It is designed for parents who are unable to obtain
a lawyer to represent them in court to be able to get the necessary adjustments passed.
Modification of Alimony
Alimony is not automatically granted in Hawaii. A court will decide if
it is necessary based on the specific circumstances of the case. There
is no exact formula for determining the monetary amount or length of time
alimony may be received.
Once alimony is in place, the couple may agree to draft and sign a written
contract to keep the alimony as it was established for an appropriate
period of time, possibly even permanently. If no such agreement exists,
either spouse, the payor or payee, may request modifications to the alimony
arrangement. To be granted any such changes, the spouse must show that
there were changes in circumstances that necessitate a change through
a submitted affidavit.
If the couple did not make any initial contractual agreement stating otherwise,
spousal support terminates automatically when the payee remarries.
If your initial agreements are no longer reflective of your needs or those
of your child,
contact our office to modify them to better suit your current situation.
Honolulu Enforcement Lawyers
Agreements are settled with the intention that both parties will continue
to abide by the terms they lay out. Sometimes, parties may fail to comply.
Luckily, actions can be taken to overcome the conflict. Our lawyers will
help enforce all your legal contracts to ensure you and your child are
receiving the care and protection you were originally promised.
Enforcement of Child Custody
Having a child custody agreement approved by the court strengthens your
ability to enforce it. By incorporating the court and having a judge agree
to it, it is granted the strength of a court order. With this classification,
both parents are legally bound to it and must act in accordance with it.
It is easier to prove disobedience of an order and seek productive changes to it.
Without a court backing the document, the options to enforce custody are
limited. Police and legal officials can only intervene when the situation
poses an immediate threat to the well-being of your child. Consider discussing
the matter with the child’s other parent and bring your agreement
to court to get a court order.
With a court order, you can still negotiate directly with the other parent,
or get legal officers involved.
Keep records of infractions in case you must prove your case in a court
hearing. Include information on the date and time of the violation and
the circumstances that went against your agreement.
Courtroom visits may vary in severity. The judge could either act as a
reinforcer of your plan or even approve adjustments, and act to resolve
any mistakes such as days taken from you by granting you more time with
your child. Alternatively, a judge could be asked to hold the other party
in contempt. If the court decides that the parent did intentionally violate
the order, they face serious consequences, potentially including jail time.
Enforcement of Child Support
Hawaii’s Child Support Enforcement Agency is proactive in obtaining
outstanding payments for the owed parents. CSEA will take action to enforce
compliance automatically, without requiring prompting by the parent with custody.
Enforcement of Alimony
Ex-spouses who are not receiving their due alimony have three options to
enforce the agreement.
An ex-spouse can:
- Go to court and have a judge find the payor in contempt, thereby giving
them an order to repay the owed money, possibly with an extra attorney
and court costs of the enforcing party.
- Obtain a court ordered writ of execution where an enforcing officer can
seize the money you are owed.
- Obtain a court-ordered income withholding where the payor’s employer
is then required to send the portion of the paycheck owed to the ex-spouse
directly to them without first giving it to the payor.
During your free initial consultation, our lawyers will recommend the best
approach once we become familiar with your case. From there, we will represent
you and fight for the payments you are owed.
If you are not receiving the financial assistance or child visitation you
are legally entitled to,
contact one of our attorneys to enforce compliance.