Law Office of Mei Nakamoto
Hawaii Divorce And Family Law Attorneys

Contested And Uncontested Divorce In Hawaii

A divorce in which the parties agree on the terms can be a relatively simple process, but it is still a legal formality that must proceed through the Family Court. With the help of an experienced and meticulous divorce lawyer, the process becomes less stressful.

If your divorce is particularly complex — perhaps involving conflict over child custody or property division — the importance of having a skilled divorce attorney on your side cannot be overstated.

To speak with a Honolulu divorce lawyer about your concerns, contact the Law Office of Mei Nakamoto. We serve divorcing spouses on the island of O'ahu and throughout Hawaii.

An Overview Of Divorce In Hawaii

In Hawaii, the Family Court can issue a divorce decree if one of the following four situations is proven:

  1. The marriage is broken beyond repair.
  2. The parties have lived separately under a decree of separation, the term of separation has expired, and the parties have not reconciled.
  3. The parties have lived separately for two or more years under a decree of separate maintenance, and the parties have not reconciled.
  4. The parties have continuously lived separately for two years or more immediately preceding the application for divorce, there is no reasonable likelihood that they will resume cohabiting, and the court believes it would not be harsh and oppressive to the other spouse or against public interest to grant the divorce on those grounds.

Most divorces result from proof of the first situation. That is because the only proof required for that one is a truthful statement that you do not want to be married anymore. In none of the situations does a spouse need to prove that the failure of the marriage is the other spouse's fault (for example, having an affair or being abusive). No one needs the consent of the other spouse to get a divorce. However, an agreement about divorce issues such as child custody, support and property division may be best for you.

If you are considering divorce, we can carefully assess your situation and advise on the best course of action.

Uncontested Divorce ♦ Contested Divorce

A divorce can be either uncontested or contested. If both parties can agree to all of the material terms of the divorce, it is uncontested — in which case it will be less expensive to complete than a contested divorce and will take a few weeks to finalize.

In many cases, the stress and emotional cost of uncontested divorce can be greatly minimized through forms of out-of-court dispute resolution such as divorce mediation or collaborative divorce.

If the divorce is contested, it will proceed through the Family Court, and the cost will be significantly higher. Depending on the circumstances, a contested divorce may take over one year to occur.

Please see our discussion of fees for further information regarding the specific costs associated with a divorce.

Military Divorce

If you are a military member or the spouse of a military member, you can expect to encounter military-specific issues when going through the divorce process. Additionally, laws provide certain protections to military members who are involved in child custody disputes while on assignment.

At the Law Office of Mei Nakamoto, we provide divorce representation to service members and to spouses of military service members. We can answer any questions you may have regarding military divorce and any of the following issues:

  • Where to file for divorce — Hawaii or elsewhere
  • Child custody and support
  • Relocating with a child
  • Property division, including the division of military retirement benefits
  • Spousal support
  • Family housing eligibility after separation

Post-Divorce Modifications

Sometimes divorce agreements or divorce judgments or decrees cease to fit current circumstances and, depending on the facts of the case, it may be possible to modify a divorce decree. The feasibility of changing the terms of a divorce decree will depend on the change you seek.

For example, a child support order may be modified if one or more of the five variables that determined the current child support amount has changed substantially enough that a new calculation would result in a 10-percent increase or decrease of the current amount. A modification may also be possible due to a change of time-sharing or physical custody, or a modified spousal support order.

If you have questions about changing a child custody, child support or spousal support order, we can listen carefully to your concerns and explain your legal options.

Contact The Law Office Of Mei Nakamoto

To schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns, please email us or call our Honolulu law office at 808-464-6815. Our divorce attorneys advise and represent clients throughout Hawaii.

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