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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce And Child Custody

You may have many questions about family law on your mind before filing for divorce. For more specific answers, contact our attorneys at our Honolulu, Hawaii, office to schedule a consultation and get more information about your situation. Give us a call at 808-377-4030 or use our website to contact us and get more of your questions answered.

Do I Have To Provide A Reason For My Divorce?

Hawaii is a no-fault divorce state. The spouse who files the divorce does not need to prove any fault by the other spouse as a reason for the divorce. Most cases cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for divorce, which is a way of saying you and your spouse no longer get along and cannot sustain a marital relationship. A no-fault divorce also means your spouse cannot object to your complaint for divorce.

How Do I Start The Divorce Process?

The first step is to contact an attorney. Then, your lawyer will write a Complaint for Divorce that states why you want a divorce and how you would prefer to settle your finances and other issues such as child custody. Next, your attorney will file the Complaint with the court and serve the Complaint to your spouse.

How Long Does Divorce Take?

Every divorce is different, and therefore the timeline of a divorce can vary. In general, there are approximately 10 steps in a divorce process. You may be able to bypass some steps, depending on your situation. The whole process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years.

Should We Decide To Mediate?

Mediation is an alternative to litigation you may want to use during your divorce. Opting for mediation has a few benefits. Mediation can allow you more control of your decision-making during the divorce process. It may be especially beneficial for parents who plan on sharing custody of their children, as it can help them learn how to make joint decisions. This can benefit your children and help you forge a better relationship with your ex in the future. Settlements created from mediation also have a higher success and compliance rate. Mediation may take less time than litigation and can cost less in the long run. Most importantly, you and your spouse compromise to control the outcome yourselves, rather than letting a judge take that decision-making power away from you.

How Do Courts Determine Child Custody?

When determining child custody, the courts will favor whatever plan they believe is in the child’s best interests. There are a few factors that go into this idea. The child’s primary caretaker is one of the main contributors in determining the child’s best interests since the historical primary caretaker can generally provide the best situation for the child. Courts also consider the wishes of the child, if the child is old enough to establish preferences. The mental and physical health of each parent as well as the ability to provide for the child are also considerations the courts make, among many others.