Honolulu Child Support Lawyer
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 in Honolulu and across Hawaii.
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 lawyers at 808-379-3538. Our lawyers serve Oahu and the neighboring islands in Hawaii. Learn how we can help you resolve your challenging issues with decency.
How Child Support Works In Hawaii
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 necessities like health care, food and clothing. Additionally, child support allows the parent to provide different 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 the funds are transferred directly from the paying parent to the custodial parent through the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA). However, the parents may elect to handle child support payments now between the two as long as they agree to do so in writing. Our Hawaii child support lawyers can help create and implement this agreement.
How Much Is Child Support In Hawaii?
Hawaii is one of only two states that use the Melson Formula Model 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 be 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. Instead, each parent’s basic needs are evaluated, and the formula used to calculate child support considers those basics.
- What you consider a basic need and what the court thinks is 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 cannot factor those into your child support 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 child care can be used to reduce a support obligation.
- Alimony, or spousal support, payments may also be factored into the final support obligation.
- Even when there is joint physical custody and the child spends 50% of their time with each parent, one parent is still likely to owe child support to the other unless the incomes are virtually identical. This is because the goal of child support is to make life continue as smoothly as possible for the child, regardless of where they live. That means the parent with the higher income is almost sure to pay some minimal child support to the lower-income parent even when custody is shared.
It’s important to remember that each custody and support situation is unique. A child support lawyer in Honolulu can provide specific advice in your child support case.
Is Child Support Mandatory In Hawaii?
In Hawaii, both parents are legally required to financially support their child.
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 child support lawyer in Honolulu can help ensure payments are made on time and in the appropriate amount. Additionally, our child support lawyers can help adjust the support payment amounts to address changes in either parent’s financial standing, such as a lost job or a new salary.
Our child support lawyers serving Honolulu provide professional insight, counsel and legal 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 modify child support payments
Contact Our Honolulu Child Support Attorney Today
Our family at Coates Frey & Hackett, AAL LLLC, 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.
We understand the challenges you are facing in this matter, which is why we wrote the book on divorce and other divorce-related issues. We invite you to learn more about the process so you can protect your interests.
Complete our online form to contact one of our Honolulu child support attorneys today!