Making the decision to walk away from a marriage is a choice that is usually only made after considerable thought. When things get to that point, it is likely that both spouses want to get the divorce finalized as quickly as possible. For people who live in Hawaii, getting the divorce might be faster than they expect.
There is a dual requirement for residency in Hawaii. In order to file for a divorce, at least one spouse has to live in Hawaii for three months. In order for the divorce to be finalized, at least one spouse must live in the state six months. There is no waiting period for people who have lived in the state six months when filing, so the divorce can be finalized quickly in that case.
The residency requirement applies to military personnel who are stationed in Hawaii. Once the person has been stationed on one of the islands for three months he or she can file for divorce. Once the individual meets the six month residency requirement, the divorce can be finalized.
There are two grounds for divorce in Hawaii. One of these is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The other is that the couple has lived apart without cohabitation for at least two years. There are no “fault” grounds for divorce in Hawaii since this is a strictly no-fault state.
Property division, alimony, child support, and child custody are all issues that are visited in a divorce. In Hawaii, these aspects of the divorce are all done in accordance with state law. Property division is based on what is fair and equitable instead of being based on each spouse getting an even share of the property. Alimony is based on a variety of factors, including how long the couple has been married and income.
When it comes to the children, things get a little complex. Child support is determined by specific guidelines. Even then, the amount of child support might not be absolute. Hawaii allows for a standard of living adjustment that allows children to receive more child support with a parent's increased income. The figures used by the courts are based on the poverty guidelines.
Child custody is determined based on the child's best interests. A history of domestic violence, for example, might change the outcome of a child custody case. Other factors that are considered include the living situations of each parent and the relationship of each parent with the child. Hawaii doesn't show preference automatically toward the mother or father.
Going through a divorce is a stressful experience. It is possible to reduce that stress in some instances if you are prepared for what will happen during the process. One way to do this is to seek assistance from someone familiar with family law and divorce in Hawaii.
While divorce may be common, when you go through it yourself, you still deserve dedicated, personal focus on your rights and unique situation. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you figure out the best way forward, explain the law, and represent you in court if it is ever necessary. Take the first step now and contact a local divorce attorney to discuss your divorce.