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Does fault matter for divorce in Hawai’i?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2022 | Divorce

Going through a divorce can come with a mix of emotions. While you may be ready to move forward with the next chapter in your life, it is still normal to feel upset about the end of a relationship that you thought would last longer than it did.

Divorce also tends to come with a conversation about fault. While fault is an essential part of the divorce process in other states, Hawai’i is considered a no-fault state.

Here’s what it means to go through a divorce in a no-fault state.

What does it mean for a divorce to be “no-fault”?

When your marriage is ending, it is a natural part of the human process to think about blame and fault, regardless of where that blame lies. In fault states, a divorcing couple can assign responsibility to one or the other; this may then impact other parts of the divorce, like asset division.

Hawai’i, on the other hand, is a no-fault state. Although there may be circumstances that led to your divorce, you only need to state that there was an “irretrievable breakdown” of your marriage that you will not be able to reconcile. Also, either spouse can file for divorce, regardless of whether the other spouse wants a divorce.

Dividing assets in a no-fault state

When it is time to divide your assets, Hawai’i is an equitable division state, not a community property state. Community property would mean that you and your spouse divide everything 50/50. Equitable division, however, takes a more balanced approach.

As courts look at how to divide assets, they will look at factors such as what assets you need to share and how much you and your spouse make.

Often, asset division negotiations can become stressful and heated. It is important to have an experienced advocate who can help you negotiate your divorce.

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