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HAWAII DIVORCE BASICS AND OVERVIEW
This is a divorce reference guide to understanding divorce in Hawaii. Each state has its own requirements, laws, and documentation, so we decided to gather it all in one location to make it easy and quick for you to find the information you need before, during and after your divorce.
Divorce in Hawaii Made Easy (See Hawaii Divorce Help Center)
- Time Frame: The minimum time permitted to finalize a divorce after filing is 30 days.
- Where to File: Family Court. The action is filed in either the judicial district where the plaintiff resides or the judicial district where the spouses last lived together. (See Hawaii Court Addresses)
- Statute Statutes: Hawaii Revised Statues; Chapter 580.
- Name of Action: Complaint for Divorce.
- Name of Parties: Plaintiff, the filing party, and defendant, the other spouse.
- No-Fault or Fault and No-Fault Only: Hawaii is a no-fault only state.
- Primary Documents Filed: Complaint for Divorce and Decree of Divorce. (See HI Forms List With Explanations)
- Physical Separation Required: Not for filing under the grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken otherwise the parties must have lived separate and apart and without cohabitation for two years.
- Separation Time to File: None.
- Grounds: 1) the marriage is irretrievably broken; 2) the parties have lived separate and apart under a decree of separation; 3) the parties have lived separate and apart for a period of two years; 4) the parties have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of two years and there is no reasonable likelihood of future cohabitation. (See Hawaii Laws for Divorce)
- Residency Requirement: Both parties must be physically present or one spouse must have been domiciled in Hawaii for at least six months prior to filing.
- Mediation Required: Mediation is not routinely required for a contested divorce in Hawaii, but the court may order it to resolve custody, visitation or support issues for children.
- Parenting Classes Required: Parenting classes are required for divorcing parents with minor children.
- Filing Fee: $250 if the parties have children, $200 if they do not. (See HI Filing Fee Waiver Form)
- Where to File for Child Support: The State Child Support Enforcement Agency is a division within the Department of the Attorney General. The Hawaii Child Support Enforcement Agency helps locate non-custodial parents, establish paternity, establish, modify, or terminate support orders, and enforcement.
- Child Support Guidelines Model: Hawaii follows the Melson Formula.
- Property Division: Hawaii is an equitable distribution state, and all property is considered for distribution.
- Appreciation of Separate Property: The appreciation of separate property during the marriage is considered marital.
- Attendance at Hearing: No.
- Fault Considered in Property Division: Hawaii does not grant divorce based on fault, but the judge may consider economic misconduct (dissipation of assets) affecting marital estate, such as gambling or drug use.
- Waiting period after Divorce for Remarriage: None.
- Ways to Serve Spouse: Hawaii uses three methods to effect service of process: personal service, substituted service, and service by publication.
Hawaii is one of eight jurisdictions that include separate property in the marital estate when the court finds a special showing of need by the non-titled spouse.
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