Divorce in Hawaii

If you're getting divorced in Hawaii, you can access state-specific resources and information to help you out right on this page. You'll be able read through an overview of the main divorce laws that may apply to your case, find separation or divorce papers, calculate your child support, and find services for divorce support, domestic violence, parenting classes, and other resources.

Hawaii Divorce Law

General Divorce Information from LawHelp.org

Copyright notice regarding state divorce laws

Divorce Statutes - Hawaii Revised Statutes: Title 31.

Residency requirements for divorce, annulment, & separation: You or your spouse must live in Hawaii for at least 6 months before you can file for a divorce. You or your spouse will also need to have lived within your circuit for at least 3 months prior to filing.

Jurisdiction / where to file: The Family Court of the island where the plaintiff resides has jurisdiction over issues relating to the dissolution of marriage.

Grounds for an annulment: A decree of nullity declaring the marriage contract void may be granted if any of these conditions existed when the couple wed:

  • The parties are related to each other by ancestor and descendant of any degree whatsoever, brother and sister of the half as well as the whole blood, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, whether the relationship is the result of the issue of parents married or not married to each other;
  • Either or both parties were not of the legal age to marry;
  • One of the parties was already married to someone else;
  • One of the spouses lacked the mental competence to consent to marriage;
  • The party requesting the annulment agreed to the marriage due to force, duress, or fraud, and there has been no subsequent cohabitation; and
  • One of the spouses concealed his or her affliction with any loathsome disease and the party applying for annulment was unaware of it.

Grounds for divorce: Hawaii is a not fault state, meaning that you can get a divorce even if your spouse doesn't agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Legal separation: If the court determines a marriage is temporarily disrupted, it can issue a separation from bed and board decree for a period not to exceed 2 years. The court may also address such issues as support for the other spouse and children. Either party may petition for dissolution of marriage while a separation decree is in effect.

Parenting class for divorces involving minor children: To meet the best interest of the child involved in a custody or visitation issue, the court may require parents and their children to attend counseling, parenting classes or any other type of educational activity.

Division of property: When dividing the marital estate, the court considers the net worth of the couple, not including the premarital assets, gifts, or inheritances of either spouse. The net worth is the difference between the couples current assets and debts. The court will attempt to divide the net worth of the marital estate in an equitable manner, taking into account the respective merits of each party and their abilities, the condition in which each party will be left by the divorce, the burdens imposed upon either party for the benefit of their children, whether a spouse conceals or fails to disclose income or assets, and any other circumstance the court deems relevant.

Alimony / spousal support: In situations where a spouse will be financially disadvantaged by a divorce, the court can award spousal support. Duration of such maintenance can vary, with temporary support to provide for a spouse while the divorce is pending, transition and rehabilitative support to allow a dependent spouse to receive training to become self-supporting, and permanent support for a spouse who would not be able to become self-supporting through appropriate employment.

The court considers various factors before awarding spousal support, including such things as the duration and lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage, the dependent spouses' ability to meet his or her needs independently, each party's custodial and child support obligations, and the other spouses' ability to pay the support.

Alimony is terminated when the dependent spouse remarries, unless the decree includes provisions to the contrary. The remarried party is also required to file notice with the court within 30 days of such marriage, or risk court costs and possible reimbursement to the paying spouse.

Change of name: Either spouse in a divorce proceeding can request the resumption of a middle name or names and the last name used prior to the marriage to be included in their divorce decree.

Child custody determination: Your divorce decree needs to address the physical and legal custody of your children and the court encourages parents to mutually reach an agreement regarding these issues. When that isn't possible, the court will make a determination, guided by the child's best interests, taking into account the factors outlined in Hawaii Statute §571-46.

Child support: Hawaii has instituted child support guidelines to establish how much child support which will be ordered in cases involving minor children. It takes into consideration the custody arrangements, the gross incomes of both parents, medical insurance premiums paid for the child, and childcare payments.

Child support generally continues until the minor child reaches adulthood (18), but may be extended until the age of 23 for an educationally dependent child. The court may also order ongoing support for a disabled child past the age of majority and beyond the age of 23.

A parent can request a modification of child support no more than one every 3 years unless they can prove a substantial material change in circumstances has occurred, such as either parent's change in income, a change in custody or visitation, or an increase or decrease in child care or health insurance expenses.

Legal Representation

Hawaiian State Bar Association Attorney Referral Service

Need a Family Lawyer? Submit information about your legal situation at LegalMatch and you'll only get a response from qualified local attorneys that are interested in taking your case.

Divorce and Parenting Services

Court Approved Parenting Classes

Attendance in the court sponsored "Kids First" program is mandatory if you have minor children of the marriage. You must pre-register for the classes which take place on alternating Wednesdays at the courthouses in Kapolei or Honolulu. You can register between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. Classes start at 5:30 p.m. and are generally over by 7:30 p.m. If you need more information about the program, you can call 954-8280 or you can leave a message for the administrator at 954-8281.

Online Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is the least expensive kind of divorce. This type of divorce is possible if you and your husband are in agreement on all the issues and just want to end your marriage with the least amount of hassle. If there are no issues to dispute and you don't have a lot of assets or debts to divide, you can consider using an online service to prepare all the paperwork needed to file for a divorce. If you choose this method, save time, money, and get it done legally by using the services of 3stepDivorce.

QDRO Paperwork

Custom QDRO Preparation - QdroDesk™ addresses all the required issues to insure your QDRO and supporting documents are prepared correctly and ready for court approval, submission to the plan administrator, and implementation.

Domestic Violence Help

DV Agencies, Hotlines, and Assistance

Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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