Hawaii Divorce Steps

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It is important to know that a divorce is a legal procedure, not an informal one. As marriage is made authorized by registration, termination of marriage must obtain approval from the state law. There are many provisions in the state law that talk about the process of divorce and rules regarding the issues related to marriage. In order to obtain a divorce from the partner, it is necessary to make sure that all steps are followed properly. Hawaii divorce steps are to be followed by all applicants who are residents of this state or the applicants who wish to take divorce in this state. The residency requirements for this state are of six months. That is, a person and the spouse should be residents of the state if they want to file for a divorce.

Overview of Hawaii Divorce Steps:

  • The Petitioner or the lawyer of the Petitioner must complete the divorce documents and further file them in a Family Court

  • In some cases, both the divorcing partners accede to all terms of the divorce. Such a divorce is termed as an uncontested divorce. Regarding this type of divorce, the following points must be remembered:
    • The divorcing partners need not appear in court if the judge gives an approval to the forms
    • The court staff provides information to the divorcing partners whether the judge has approved the forms and whether any amendment is demanded.
    • The judge will take a closer look on such agreement. The court then decides whether this agreement is a justifiable or not
    • When the approved forms are filed at the Family Court, the couple is legally divorced

  • When the divorcing partners cannot agree with each other regarding the issues of the divorce, this is classified as a contested divorce

  • In the divorce proceedings of a contested divorce, some of the topics that are settled are as follows:
    • Who has to pay whom money for support and how much?
    • How the debts should be divided?
    • How the property of the husband and wife should be divided?
    • Who has to disburse money for support of the minor children?
    • With whom the children would reside? When would the other parent spend time with the children?

  • The judge can also decide the implementation of the above mentioned topics while the divorce case is pending. This is mostly done at the time of disagreement of the partners over these issues

Some essential documents during Hawaii Divorce Steps

While taking divorce steps in Hawaii, there are two mandatory documents as follows:

  • Complaint for divorce - This is essential to initialize the divorce
  • Decree of divorce - This is necessary to finalize the divorce
Apart from the above two, the divorcing partners may be required to fill ten to twenty more documents. Four of these are listed below:
  • Appearance and Waiver document
  • Income and Expense Statement
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Matrimonial Action (Information) Sheet
  • Appeals for child custody
Divorce Steps regarding Service
  • After the Petitioner has filed the complaint in the family court, the petitioner can obtain the signature of the Respondent on the divorce documents by serving them in one of the following methods:
    • By hand delivery
    • By mail
    • By means of a third party delivery

    If the Respondent is imprisoned, this method can be followed:

  • The Petitioner must contact the Sheriff in the county of the Respondent. The Sheriff is allocated the task of serving the divorce documents and obtaining the Respondent's signature on those

  • If the Respondent resides outside this state, the Petitioner can execute service by Certified Mail (return receipt requested)

  • If the Respondent is imprisoned, the Petitioner can request the jail officials to execute the service

  • If the Petitioner fails to locate the Respondent, then, the Petitioner can resort to service by publication. The court clerk directs that the service by publication may be made in a newspaper that has general circulation in the county wherein filing of the complaint has been done. The Petitioner has to pay a publication fee for the service.

The Hawaii divorce steps may vary according to the nature of the divorce case and relations between partners. Generally, an uncontested divorce involves less time and easier steps than that of a contested divorce. Sometimes, mediation is a tool that can be used by partners to lessen the wastage of time and money. In mediation, the third person helps the spouses to resolve the issues by discussing and by finding new solutions.

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