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What conditions do you need to meet for a divorce in Hawaii?

Where you live directly impacts your rights and what rules apply when you file for divorce. If you currently live in Hawaii and know that your marriage will likely end in the near future, you may need to learn a little bit more about Hawaii’s requirements for someone to file for divorce.

There are certain residency requirements that may affect your rights. You will also need to advise the court of the reason that you filed for divorce, although Hawaii handles this process differently than some other states.

What are the residency requirements for Hawaiian divorce?

In order to divorce in the Hawaiian family courts, at least one of the two spouses must have lived in Hawaii for the six months immediately prior to their filing. Typically, they will also need to have maintained their residence in the jurisdiction of the court where they file for at least three months before their date of filing.

Do you need grounds to file for divorce in Hawaii?

You do not need to give a specific reason, like adultery, for filing divorce in Hawaii, nor do you have to assert that your filing is either your fault or the fault of your spouse. Hawaii’s law allows for no-fault divorces. You simply have to acknowledge to the courts that your marriage is irretrievably broken. You can also file for divorce without making such a claim if you and your spouse have lived separately for at least two years prior to the date of filing.

Does your spouse have to agree to your divorce request?

The state cannot force someone to stay married if they do not want to remain in a marriage. Even if your spouse does not want to divorce, if you do, you have the right to dissolve your marital union. If your spouse will not agree to the divorce, it will likely be a contested filing where the courts must make many decisions on your behalf.

However, if your spouse is able to accept the reality of the pending divorce, you may be able to work to set reasonable terms for your divorce in an uncontested filing. Regardless of whether you want to file a contested or uncontested divorce, having your own representation will ensure you have someone advocating for you and will reduce the likelihood of mistakes slowing down or complicating the process.