When it’s finally time to divorce your spouse, you must follow a series of procedures to make your separation legal and official. Otherwise, you might experience delays or other frustrations along the way.
Here is what you need to know about the divorce process in Hawaii.
Prepare for the divorce
Preparing yourself with the necessary information that you will need along the way is crucial. Financial records, especially, are pertinent to your divorce proceedings when dividing property. It is advisable to gather such information before informing your spouse about your intentions.
The legal paperwork
You will then file some forms with the court and pay the required fees. These forms include a complaint for divorce, a summons to answer the complaint and a matrimonial action information sheet. You may need additional paperwork based on the circumstances of your divorce.
Serving your spouse with the divorce papers
Usually, you cannot personally serve your spouse with the divorce papers. However, you can serve them through a person above the age of 18 who is not a party to the divorce. A process server or a deputy’s sheriff can also serve your spouse with the divorce papers.
You can also mail your spouse via certified mail if they live outside the state or through service by publication if they are not reachable. Either way, you must verify with the court that your spouse has been legally served with the divorce papers.
Other important considerations
One should meet the residency requirements at state and county levels when filing for divorce. For instance, you or your spouse must have lived in Hawaii for at least six months before filing for divorce.
You also need to determine the right kind of divorce that will work for you. While not every divorce needs to be contested, you should anticipate any eventuality and ensure you protect your interests.