Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Hawaii No Fault Divorce


According to Hawaii no-fault divorce laws, you may be granted divorce if you state that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage or the spouses or the spouses have been living separately. Here, none of the spouses need to prove that the other spouse had indulged in “wrong doings” such as adultery, desertion or emotional/physical brutality or any kind of domestic violence or child abuse etc. thus, Hawaii no-fault divorce laws specify that the blame-game is no more there and “irreconcilable differences” of opinion or “incompatibility in temperament” are grounds enough for divorce.

Separation in HI no-fault divorce

Courts may grant divorce to the parties who have lived separately from “bed and board” under the decree of a court and after expiry of the term would be granted the no-fault divorce. During that period there has been no reconciliation between the parties. If there is no such decree of separation by the courts but the parties have lived separately for a continuous period of two years and the courts find that there is no scope of cohabitation, then they would be awarded divorce on no-fault grounds basis.

Residential requirements in HI no-fault divorce

It is required for at least one party to have stayed in the circuit where the case has been filed for at least 3 months to get the divorce. One can file the divorce in the circuit court where the plaintiff lives or where the couple had resided.

Uncontested HI no-fault divorce

It is generally observed that in the case of no-fault divorces, spouses wish to settle the matters of property division, child custody and spousal support outside the court. Such a divorce is called as “uncontested divorce” and the courts receive a ‘separation agreement” where all the legal issues are mentioned. In such circumstances, courts would not call the parties for hearing but simply sign the decree of dissolution of marriage and dissolve the marriage.

Child custody in HI no-fault divorce

If the divorce is contested on the issue of who gets the custody of the child, then one may approach the court to decide on this matter. The court would naturally try to take care of the best interests of the child and see to it that the needs of the child are met. If the presence of a parent is known to have a damaging effect on the child, then custody would not be awarded to that parent. Such a contest may take tens and thousands of dollars as money. Hence, spouses must opt for settling the matter outside the court. Custody mediation is a better option where the parents may get shared parental rights and visitations.

Choosing between no-fault grounds or fault grounds

In some cases, spouses may opt to file the divorce on “no-fault” lines even if there were substantial wrongdoings to escape the messy details of the contest if it is on “fault lines”. They also wish to avoid the children from getting to see the dirty details. On the other hand, you may wish to file the case on “fault grounds” if you are sure that you would have an edge on custody matter or on getting a fairer share in property division. Judges are known to have a different property division if the fault lies with a spouse. The intention is not to punish the errant spouse, but to make up for the financial hardships on the spouse as a result of the actions.

Thus, it is imperative to seek the guidance of an attorney to decide the grounds on which divorce can be filed. Do-it-yourself divorce must be preferred in uncontested no-fault divorce where all the details of the law are very clear.


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