Uncontested Divorce in Hawaii
There are two primary ways to dissolve a marriage: contested and uncontested divorce.
- A contested divorce is when at least one spouse contests the divorce itself or property division, spousal support, child-related issues like child support and custody, etc. Thus, the parties often have to resolve their issues through litigation, with the judge responsible for making the decisions.
- An uncontested divorce process is less complicated as it implies that the spouses can agree about the terms of their divorce. The parties must outline their divorce agreement in the Divorce Decree and submit it for court approval along with the other necessary forms. The judge reviews all the divorce documents, and if they are properly completed, the divorce process can be finalized without a court hearing.
If spouses agree to divorce and don't need any specific advice (legal aid), they can resolve their disputes through non-adversarial methods like divorce mediation and use affordable online divorce self-help services to get the completed divorce forms.
Get Your Divorce Forms Completed Online
An uncontested divorce process is fast and straightforward compared to traditional litigation. Still, it requires proper paperwork, as even a single mistake in divorce forms may lead to divorce case delays.
DivoceOnline.com is designed to make preparing to file for divorce in Hawaii much easier. Unlike some similar websites, this online divorce service does not sell blank forms. Instead, it helps its users select the documents required in a particular case and fill them out following the Hawaii Family Law and local court requirements in only two business days. Thus, you can get your unique package of ready-to-file completed divorce papers for just $139 from the comfort of your home.
All you need to do is provide your details through the simple questionnaire on the DivorceOnline.com website. You can work at your own pace, making pauses or going back to make edits if necessary. Once the online interview is completed, you can download your completed documents along with written instructions for the filing process.
Steps for Filing a Divorce in Hawaii
The Hawaii divorce process takes several consecutive steps.
For a couple to meet residency requirements and be eligible to file for divorce in the State of Hawaii, either spouse must have been domiciled or physically present within the state for at least six months before filing the Complaint for Divorce.
Besides, the filing spouse (the plaintiff) must have been domiciled or present in the circuit where the case will be filed for at least three months before starting a divorce.
To begin divorce proceedings, the plaintiff must complete the Complaint for Divorce and take it to the local courthouse for filing. This document informs the court of the person's desire to end the marriage and requires legally acceptable grounds for divorce.
Since Hawaii is a no-fault divorce state, the plaintiff is not required to prove that the other spouse committed marital misconduct. According to Hawaii Revised Statutes, the family court can grant a divorce upon the following grounds:
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (the spouses are no longer willing to remain married and there is no hope for reconciliation)
- Living separate and apart under a decree of separation (the term of separation has expired)
- Living separate and apart for at least two years under a decree of separate maintenance
- Living separate and apart for at least two years before filing for divorce (with no reasonable likelihood that cohabitation will be resumed)
To start a divorce, the plaintiff must fill out the Complaint for Divorce and other required divorce papers and file them with Family Court.
Divorce papers in Hawaii
Generally, initial Hawaii divorce forms include:
- Complaint for Divorce (3F-P-266)
- Summons to Answer Complaint (3F-P-271)
- Matrimonial Action Information (3F-P-269)
- Motion for Service by Mail and Affidavit; Order for Service by Mail (3F-P-265)
At the further stages of the process, the spouses must submit the rest of the forms, which may vary depending on the Judicial Circuit where the case is filed and the circumstances of the divorce.
For example, the plaintiff is also required to file the acknowledgment of service forms, financial statements forms, child support forms (if the spouses have minor children), and, finally, Divorce Decree (Without Children (3F-P-268) / With Children (3F-P-260)).
When filing divorce papers, the plaintiff must pay a filing fee in the County Clerk's Office (in the proper Judicial Circuit). This fee is about $215 in Hawaii. You can check the exact amount for your Circuit Court at the Hawaii Judiciary website.
If the plaintiff cannot afford to pay, they may file a fee waiver request. The court will consider the applicant's financial condition and decide whether to exempt them from paying court fees.
There is no mandatory waiting period before a final judgment of uncontested divorce can be entered in the State of Hawaii. Thus, the courts consider divorce cases according to their workload once the spouses have filed all the required documents.
The plaintiff must notify the other spouse about the divorce by serving them with copies of the Complaint for Divorce and Summons to Answer Complaint and provide the court with the relevant proof of the service.
There are several ways to accomplish the service of process:
- by the sheriff or the sheriff's deputy;
- by the process server, appointed by the court;
- by any adult person who is not a party to the case;
- by certified or registered mail, restricted delivery.
The defendant must file with the Court a written answer to the Complaint for Divorce within 20 days after receipt of the Complaint.
The case shall be set on the Uncontested Divorce by Affidavit calendar once the spouses have completed and filed all the required divorce papers. This means that neither spouse is typically required to appear at court for a final hearing unless the court has some questions about the spouses' agreement or the papers are not completed correctly. The judge reviews all the submitted documents and signs the Divorce Decree.
Getting a Divorce With Children
In a Hawaii divorce with minor children, the court may grant legal and/or physical custody to either one (sole custody) or both (joint custody) parents.
- Legal custody refers to the parent's authority to make decisions for a child, including educational, healthcare, and upbringing issues.
- Physical custody determines with whom the child primarily lives.
Anyway, the Family Law of Hawaii requires that custody matters be decided by parents or by the court following the child's best interests.
When determining the child's best interests, the following factors must be considered:
- the child's relationship with each parent, siblings, and other family members;
- each parent's mental health;
- the child's safety, physical health, emotional, and educational needs;
- the child's wishes, given that the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference;
- each parent's willingness and ability to cooperate to meet the child's needs;
- any evidence of past or current drug or alcohol abuse by a parent;
- any history of family violence and abuse,
- and other factors the court may deem relevant.
Along with that, both parents are obliged to support their children regardless of whether they are married or divorced.
In Hawaii, the custody arrangement affects how much child support each parent will be ordered to pay. Generally, the parent who does not have primary physical custody (who spends less than half the time with the child) has to pay support.
The amount of child support is determined using the Hawaii Child Support Guidelines Worksheet on a case-by-case basis. Calculations are based on each parent's gross monthly income, amounts paid for the child's medical insurance, and child-related expenses.
Child support orders typically last until the child reaches age 18 and, in some cases, can be extended up to 23 if the child is enrolled full-time in high school, college, etc.
The following additional forms are provided for divorcing parents to file:
- Children in Transition Information Sheet (Hilo Division) (3C-E-223)
- Children First Information Sheet (Kona Division) (3C-P-231)
- Exhibit Pertaining to Conciliation, Child Care, and Child Custody Proceedings (3C-P-072)
- Child Support Guidelines
Filing for Divorce in Hawaii Without a Lawyer
Although Hawaii Judiciary suggests that divorcing spouses should consult with an attorney to learn about their particular legal rights and liabilities, most uncontested divorces can be handled without addressing a law firm.
If you and your spouse agree to divorce and don't need any specific advice (legal aid), you can resolve your disputes through non-adversarial methods like mediation and use online divorce self-help services to get your completed divorce forms.
DivorceOnline.com allows avoiding the potential risks of a do-it-yourself divorce approach with no fuss at an affordable price.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Hawaii
- DIY divorce means representing yourself in a dissolution case without a lawyer, which can be a beneficial option for uncontested divorces.
- Since court forms vary depending on the Judicial Circuit, whether the spouses have children, whether either party seeks spousal support, and many other circumstances, paperwork may seem highly complicated and time-consuming for a person without relevant experience.
- Thus, although the Hawaii court system provides self-help forms online, this can be insufficient for those who want to prepare their legal documents and, therefore, file for divorce as soon as possible.
- DivorceOnline.com offers a straightforward and quick way to complete all the divorce papers required in your particular case in two business days. We provide only the relevant Hawaii online divorce forms and comprehensive filing instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Since Hawaii does not require a mandatory waiting period, the length of divorce mostly depends on whether divorce is contested or not. On average, an uncontested divorce in Hawaii takes several months (or about three to eight weeks once all documents are submitted to the court). The sooner the spouses can reach an agreement and complete all the divorce forms, the sooner their divorce can be finalized.
The cost of any divorce starts with a court filing fee, but further expenses depend on the length of the process and the amount of conflict. Uncontested divorces typically cost less than contested ones.
Many lawyers charge a flat (fixed) fee for uncontested cases. In Hawaii, an average uncontested divorce flat fee is about $1,500.
To reduce the cost of divorce, spouses who are ready to avoid litigation and do not need legal advice can file for divorce without a lawyer and use DivorceOnline.com services for as little as $139.
Filing for divorce requires paying a court filing fee. In some cases, when the plaintiff cannot afford to pay due to financial hardship, they may have the fees waived by completing an Ex Parte Motion and Affidavit to Waive Filing Fees form.
The Hawaii divorce forms spouses may be required to file include but are not limited to Proof of Uncontested Divorce Through Affidavit Memo, Complaint for Divorce, Summons to Answer Complaint, Matrimonial Action Information, Income and Expense Statement, Asset and Debt Statement, Appearance and Waiver, Proof of Service, Affidavit of Plaintiff, Child Support Guidelines.