Honolulu Divorce Attorney

Understanding Hawaii's Divorce Process

Unfortunately, not all marriages last a lifetime, and many do not end amicably. For some married couples, divorce is necessary for a healthier, more harmonious life. However, divorce can be stressful for both parties, especially if children are involved.

At Smith & Sturdivant, LLLC, we have guided families through this process since 2005 and are adept at handling the most challenging divorce cases competently and competently. If you have decided to file for divorce or need to respond to divorce papers in Hawaii, you should seek the counsel of an experienced divorce law firm as soon as possible.

Don’t wait to get the help you need. Instead, call our divorce lawyer in Honolulu, Hawaii, today for a free consultation at (808) 201-3898!

Hawaii's Divorce Laws Explained

According to the divorce laws in Hawaii, as long as one spouse believes the marriage is irretrievably broken or cannot be resolved, either spouse can file for divorce. In addition, you could get divorced in Hawaii despite being legally married in another state or country.

Have you been served with divorce papers? First, it would be best if you educated yourself on what this process means:

  • In simple terms, divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage.
  • Unfortunately, this dissolution can have lifelong effects, so you should be cautious and thorough concerning the terms of your divorce agreement.
  • Once the marriage is dissolved, your financial standing and parental rights can change dramatically, so seeking the counsel of an experienced family law firm should be a top priority.

Our Honolulu divorce lawyer takes pride in his performance and is driven by his passion for helping families. If you are ready to file, he is ready to assist.

At Smith & Sturdivant, LLLC, we help clients get through some of the most challenging terms that can hold up a divorce, including:

If you’re ready to file for divorce, we can guide you and your family through the process. We’ve handled various divorce cases, including contested and uncontested divorce, for over 16 years, and our Honolulu divorce lawyers have the skills necessary to assist you today.

Other matters we can help with include the following:

How Long Does a Divorce Take in Hawaii?

Once you file the divorce papers, an uncontested divorce can take 30 to 90 days for a settlement to be complete.

In addition, the duration from start to finish divorce may vary pending any issues such as agreements or disagreements, the number of cases handled by the court, and the judge’s availability to sign off on the final decree of the divorce.

A contested divorce can take up to a year to finalize, sometimes longer.

Legal Grounds for Divorce in Hawaii

Is Hawaii a No-Fault Divorce State?

Hawaii is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning a spouse doesn't need to prove any fault in the other spouse to get a judge to grant a divorce.

Instead, a spouse must state that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" and can't salvage it. If one spouse claims this, but the other spouse disagrees, the judge might order counseling before granting a divorce.

However, if both parties cannot resolve anything within 60 days, the judge will grant the divorce.

How Long Do You Have to Be Separated Before Divorce in Hawaii?

Since the law in Hawaii is a no-fault state in divorce, one party can terminate the marriage if they lived separately and apart for two years or have legal separation.

Understanding the Costs of Divorce in Hawaii

The cost of your divorce depends on whether it is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce is straightforward and can be quick and inexpensive. On the other hand, a contested divorce could get expensive if you and your spouse cannot agree. You may also find that you must pay for mediation and an attorney if mediation is unsuccessful.

There are various fees you must pay to file for divorce in Hawaii. This includes filing fees (around $200), postage, photocopying, messenger/deliver, and attorney fees. You must also pay a processing fee to the individual who serves your spouse’s divorce papers. You must also pay for transportation to and from your lawyer’s office, the courthouse, and mediation sessions.

Nationally, the average cost of a divorce is around $15,000 per person, but this does vary. These include attorney fees, court costs, and hiring additional experts like real estate appraisers or accountants. Your divorce could be complex and cost this much or more, or it could be straightforward and cost much less. The best way to get a good idea of your divorce cost would be to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer to determine your options.

Guidance for Parents: Kids and Divorce

Difficult Questions Kids Ask About Divorce, by authors Scheider and Zuckerberg, is a handy book that provides insight into typical responses by children experiencing their parent’s divorce. This book effectively analyses divorce from the perspective of the child.

The following insights are helpful:

  • Children can only understand what their age allows.
  • Children have trouble articulating their feelings.
  • Children are too frightened to ask the most painful questions.
  • Parents may be reluctant to listen.
  • When children do ask questions, parents may deny their feelings.
  • Children fear their questions will hurt or anger their parents.
  • Some fathers do not practice addressing specific problems.
  • Children find solace in magical thinking.

Furthermore, what a child says may not be congruent with what they are feeling (fear):

  • “I’m afraid of being alone” becomes, in a divorce, “I’m being left alone.”
  • “I hope the bad guys go away,” becomes, in a divorce, “The bad guys are going to get me.”
  • “If I do something bad, will you still love me?” becomes, in a divorce, “Did I send mommy/daddy away?”
  • “I wish I were smarter, prettier, faster,” becomes, in a divorce, “I’m not good enough to make your stay.”

A custody litigant may be inclined to hear what they want to hear, and children may be reluctant to express their fears and questions. Still, by being aware of their child’s underlying fears and developmental limitations, an observant parent may be able to put their child at ease.

Contact Our Honolulu Divorce Attorney Today for personalized support at (808) 201-3898. We’re here to help you navigate your divorce with ease.

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  • “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”
    I can't express enough on how thankful I am to have found Atty Sturdivant and his Legal Assistant, Sarena. They helped me tremendously get through a process that I never thought I could have overcome - a divorce. They made this a very smooth and painless process. As a result, I am relieved. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
    - Floriza F.
  • “They will always have your back, these family lawyers are second to none!!”
    Bottom line, if anyone is looking for the highest quality in service and care, wishing to be in the best possible hands you could be during the delicate and sensitive legal matters you may need assistance with, save some time and make the right decision, talk to Mr. Justin and Mr. Daniel, you will not regret it, they will always have your back, these family lawyers are second to none!!
    - Juan S.
  • “Did a great job of being a friend as well as attorney.”
    I went thru an extremely painful divorce. One I never saw coming, and one I never wanted to happen. Justin was there to guide me and advise me when needed. Always available to see me, or talk on the phone when I had questions. Sad as the situation was, Justin seemed to feel what I was going thru and did a great job of being a friend as well as attorney. His fee was very fair, and I would highly recommend him to anyone dealing with these issues.
    - Salvatore
  • “I felt like he was straight with me, both good and bad, unlike other lawyers I've met with.”
    Justin Sturdivant met with me personally and took the time to answer my questions. I felt like he was straight with me, both good and bad, unlike other lawyers I've met with. If I have to go forward with my divorce I'll be going with Mr. Sturdivant.
    - Johnny
  • “He not only gave me a fair and equitable retainer fee, he got the results I was looking for.”
    I contacted Justin when I was in need of an attorney and he was exactly what I needed. He not only gave me a fair and equitable retainer fee, he got the results I was looking for in less time than I had personally allocated for when I originally encountered the issue. I was not only satisfied but ecstatic, I would use him for all my issues from here on forward, should I have any.
    - Greg