Law Office of Mei Nakamoto
Hawaii Divorce And Family Law Attorneys

Dividing Marital Assets And Debts In A Hawaii Divorce

Under Hawaii law, once a divorce decree has been granted, the court also determines several additional issues, including the division of assets and debts acquired during the marriage.

For property division, Hawaii courts use an "equitable distribution" system, which involves an analysis of five categories of marital partnership property and marital separate property (if any) to determine the fairest distribution of assets and debts. Except for marital separate property, this analysis is done without considering which party might actually hold title to a certain asset or debt.

At the Law Office of Mei Nakamoto, we can help protect your rights to marital property and ensure that the distribution of your marital estate is fair and equitable. If you have questions about your marital property rights and obligations, please contact our office in Honolulu to arrange a consultation.

Divisible Assets And Debts

In general, assets and debts that were acquired during marriage are marital partnership property, which is divisible in a Hawaii divorce. While "equitable distribution" means that assets should be divided fairly, an equitable division is not always an even split.

Whether your marital estate is complex or fairly modest, we can obtain an accurate valuation of marital property and help ensure that you receive your fair share. Examples of assets and debts that may be divided in a divorce include:

  • The family home and the mortgage attached to it
  • Vehicles
  • Home furnishings
  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Retirement pensions and savings accounts
  • Stock and stock options
  • Business holdings
  • Credit card debts incurred to pay for family expenses

Unfortunately, sometimes a spouse tries to keep assets from the other spouse. This is because many spouses strongly — but mistakenly — believe the other spouse cannot touch assets owned only by one spouse, such as retirement benefits. We have the resources and legal acumen to include these assets and ensure that they are accurately valued and fairly split.

Separate Property

In addition to marital partnership property, there may be marital separate property that is not subject to division between the spouses. The burden of proving that property is separate generally falls on the party who wishes to claim the property. Examples of marital separate property include:

  • Assets that are the subject of a bona fide premarital, prenuptial, postnuptial or other type of marital agreement
  • Any inheritance, or gift from a non-spouse, acquired during the marriage that is kept explicitly by one spouse for that spouse and is not mingled with marital property

Divorce can become complex and contentious when there is a dispute over whether assets and debts should be categorized as marital partnership property or marital separate property, or when there have been inheritances or significant gifts from a spouse's parents or others during the marriage. Our Honolulu attorneys can investigate these issues and advocate for accurate and fair division of the assets and debts.

Contact Us

For a consultation with an experienced property division lawyer, contact the Law Office of Mei Nakamoto at 808-464-6815. We represent divorce clients on the island of O'ahu and throughout Hawaii.

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