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Do you have to live separately and apart prior to filing for divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2024 | Divorce

Navigating divorce laws raises key questions, such as whether living separately is mandatory before filing for one. Understanding this requirement is crucial for those considering legal separation and the dissolution of marriage in any state.

If you are a Hawaiian resident looking into divorce, here is what you should know about the requirement of living separately.

Proving the marriage is unrepairable

In Hawaii, spouses can file for divorce upon proving that their marriage is  Before filing the petition, they must have lived separately and apart for a continuous period of at least two years which shows that it is highly unlikely that the parties will resume their marriage.

Note that living separately and apart is different from legal separation, wherein the latter is under a decree of separation from the court. With legal separation, Hawaii generally applies a two-year period of separation, upon the expiry of which the married parties have to decide whether to repair the union or formally end it with divorce.

Nonetheless, regardless of whether you and your partner have been living separately under a separation order or not, you can petition for divorce after two years of such living arrangement.

The reason behind the requirement

The requirement of living separately for two years serves as a cooling-off period for parties, allowing them to reflect on their marriage and consider whether they truly want to dissolve the relationship. Hawaii places great value in marriages and encourages spouses to make efforts to resolve their issues. This cooling-off period provides them a chance to reconsider the decision and possibly reconcile.

Otherwise, this will serve as evidence of the marriage’s irretrievable breakdown, which, as mentioned above, is a legal requirement for a no-fault divorce in Hawaii.

Seeking guidance

Hawaii divorce laws can be complex and you may need competent guidance to navigate the process. If you are contemplating divorce in Hawaii, consider reaching out to a skilled divorce lawyer to ensure protection over your interests,

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