Saturday, June 15, 2013

Divorce in Hawaii

A divorce can be difficult and highly emotional whether you are seeking one yourself or if you have been served with a divorce complaint. 

No-Fault Divorce
Hawaii is a no-fault divorce state.  A no-fault divorce grants a legal end to a marriage that is no longer working, without the need to assign fault to either spouse.  It is no longer necessary to allege adultery, abandonment or other similar objectionable behavior.  No-fault divorce has become the benchmark throughout the country and lends itself to a more civilized end to marriage. 

Marital Property Division
You and your spouse may agree how to divide your jointly owned property or you may ask a judge to divide it for you.  If a judge must divide your marital property, he or she will partition the property equitably.  Equitable distribution is not the same as equal distribution.  Most of the time, a judge will divide marital property equally but will place a priority on apportioning it fairly. 

Marital property is property that you and your spouse received while you were married.  Gifts during the marriage, property you inherit and property you received before you were married are not marital property. 

Considering Factors
The court will consider many factors when deciding how to distribute marital property including:

            -Financial circumstances of each spouse. 
            -The value of your separately owned property. 
            -Amount each spouse contributed to acquiring marital property. 
            -Support for the other spouse’s education. 
            -Individual debt. 
            -Age and health of each spouse. 
            -Premarital agreements. 

There are many factors a judge will take into account when deciding how to divide your marital property.  If you are considering a divorce, particularly in a situation that is likely to be contested, you should contact an attorney to guide you through the legal process and help make sure you receive your fair share of marital property.  

Click here for more information filing a divorce on Maui including a civil union divorce.