Whatever is determined to be in the "best interests of the child" has long been an overriding guiding principle in determining child custody arrangements in Hawaii and throughout the country. Absent special circumstances, such as domestic violence or drug abuse, family law judges recognize the value in the child having a close relationship with both parents. Despite these considerations, child custody has historically been favorable to the mother. Recently, however, fathers have become more equal partners in raising children after the parents part ways.
Hawaii parents who are facing divorce may need to make a parenting schedule that outlines when the child will spend time with each of them. They should not think of this as a document that involves winning or losing and should not try to use it to undermine one another. Instead, the parenting schedule should serve its purpose of ensuring that the child keeps a relationship with both of them.
Parents in Hawaii who are considering divorce will likely need to think about how they will handle child custody. There are some that might argue that it's in the children's best interests for the mother to have full custody. They argue that, especially for toddlers and infants, overnight care with the fathers can lead to major issues.