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Divorce in Kauai County
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Online Divorce in Kauai County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Kauai County, Hawaii, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.
Like many other US states, Hawaii provides ample opportunities for divorcing spouses to get a Do-It-Yourself divorce without hiring expensive lawyers and embroiling themselves in bitter courtroom battles. In Kauai County, divorcing couples can use free self-help resources at a circuit district, legal aid from NGOs, and pro bono programs to get legal advice. But many petitioners would appreciate some assistance throughout the documents preparation stage too. And OnlineDivorce.com ensures petitioners in Kauai County complete their divorce documents accurately and correctly.
A divorce document preparation service, OnlineDivorce.com, first asks you some basic questions about your divorce, family structure, and financial situation. This information is used to select and complete all the necessary forms for your case. You will get printable court-ready forms on a computer in two business days. Print them out, sign them, and file them with the court. Additionally, each Kauai County divorce kit has filing instructions and guides on necessary steps in an uncontested divorce.
So, what is an uncontested divorce? It is an essential requirement for a DIY divorce. For all the other types of divorce in Hawaii, you will need legal representation, but if you and your spouse agree to have no contest, you can pull off your divorce on your own. Sit down with your spouse and decide how you will handle child custody and visitation time, how much will be paid in child support, whether you will pay alimony, and how you will split the marital property and debts.
In some cases, divorcing couples may deal with divorce-related issues quickly and easily. Other families may require the assistance of real estate planners, mediators, and other experts. You can read about all these aspects and little yet essential details in our guide on uncontested divorce in Kauai County.
All individuals want to come away from a divorce financially intact and emotionally unscathed. We offer you an opportunity to start a divorce affordably and easily. OnlineDivorce.com is here to support you by helping with your divorce paperwork and some basic information on Family Law in Kauai County.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Kauai County
Unlike many US states, Hawaii does not provide fault-based grounds for divorce and is a pure no-fault state. It means that if both spouses agree to have a divorce, they just cite their marriage as “irretrievably broken,” and the court grants the divorce.
However, if one spouse refuses to get divorced, there are two ways to proceed in Kauai County. First, the spouses can live separately and apart for over two years, and the court will consider this circumstance a valid ground for divorce. Second, the petitioner can file for divorce nonetheless, and the court will give the spouses 60 days for reconciliation; if the spouses fail to reconcile after a waiting period, the court will grant a divorce regardless of the defender’s reluctance.
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Having the principle of the best interests of a child as its primary consideration in a custody determination, a Hawaii Family Court ensures that all custody-related decisions never put a child in danger or under full control of a violent or abusive parent. Under HI Rev Stat § 571-46, “Custody should be awarded to either parent or to both parents according to the best interests of the child, and the court also may consider frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact of each parent with the child unless the court finds that a parent is unable to act in the best interest of the child.”
Upon examining the circumstances of each family member’s life and many other pertinent factors, a Kauai County court decides whether to grant the parents joint custody for decision-making aspects of the child’s life (legal custody) and living arrangements (physical custody). Usually, one parent is selected to be a custodial parent with whom the child will reside. The non-custodial parent gets visitation time. In some cases, the court may award sole legal custody or sole physical custody. If the child has reached a sufficient age, the court typically considers their wishes regarding custody. Overall, the court makes custodial decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Before issuing custody orders, the court (1) expects the parents to submit a parenting plan, and (2) mandates the parents to complete a parenting class. Preparing a parenting plan is the easiest way for parents to work out custodial arrangements most suitably and efficiently. If you and your spouse cannot agree on decision making and living arrangements for your child, turn to mediation. A parenting class is another way to focus on the child’s best interests and learn to compromise by alleviating the trauma of divorce on the child and yourselves.
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Rules for child support in Kauai County
To calculate a child support monthly payment in Kauai County, a court uses a Child Support Worksheet and the Melson formula. The State of Hawaii Child Support Guidelines rely only upon each parent’s pre-tax monthly income, the child’s medical insurance, and child care expenses. Any other child-related expenses are not considered for child support in Hawaii. However, the court considers the kind of custody (joint, sole, extensive visitation, etc.). The full list of potential deviation factors is given in HI Rev Stat § 576D-7.
According to HI Rev Stat § 576D-7, the Guidelines may include the following factors:
(1) The earning potential, reasonable necessities, and borrowing capacity of both parents;
(2) The amount of public assistance which would be paid for the child under the full standard of need as established by the department;
(3) The existence of other dependents of the obligor parent;
(4) Balancing the standard of living of both parents and the child to avoid placing any of them below the poverty level whenever possible.
If a parent is a low-earner, a child support order cannot leave him or her without a minimum wage. At the same time, a child support payment cannot be lower than $70.00 per child per month.
In Hawaii, the age of emancipation is 18, but the court can extend it to 23 if the child is enrolled in a higher education institution.
As for child support enforcement, each Hawaii island has its own child support enforcement agency. For more details, see here.
Calculate child support for your family situation in Kauai County here.
Rules for spousal support in Kauai County
Referred to as maintenance, an award of spousal support in Kauai County is closely linked with property distribution, child custody, each party’s needs, and the length of the marriage.
To avoid unexpected court decisions, it is up to spouses to decide for themselves what kind of arrangement they find the most suitable for their circumstances. A Hawaii court normally accepts a marital settlement agreement where both spouses memorialize their decisions regarding marital assets, debts, retirement benefits, insurance plans, and alimony.
If the spouses cannot agree on the mere fact and the amount of maintenance, the court will order maintenance, considering the following factors, according to HI Rev Stat § 580-47:
(1) Financial resources of the parties;
(2) The ability of the party seeking support and maintenance to meet his or her needs independently;
(3) Duration of the marriage;
(4) Standard of living established during the marriage;
(5) Age, physical and emotional condition of the parties;
(6) Usual occupation of the parties during the marriage;
(7) Vocational skills and employability of the party seeking support and maintenance;
(8) Needs and responsibilities of the parties;
(9) The ability of the spouse from who maintenance is requested to meet his or her own needs;
(10) Other factors which measure the financial condition in which the parties will be left as the result of the action under which the determination of maintenance is made; and
(11) Probable duration of the need of the party seeking support and maintenance.
Upon analyzing each case and all pertinent factors, the court may order short- or long-term maintenance or an interim one-lump sum during the divorce proceedings. The intention of awarding spousal maintenance is always to help the lower-earning spouse become financially independent. For this reason, permanent maintenance is rare, whereas long-term alimony is reserved for lengthy marriages.
Use an alimony calculator and learn how much you may pay or receive in spousal support in Hawaii.
Uncontested Kauai County divorce with children
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Property division in Kauai County
If both parties agree and record the provisions of their property division in writing, a Kauai County court typically accepts it as long as it is fair and reasonable. In Hawaii, marital assets are divided according to equitable distribution. Who better than the spouses to know how the marital and separate property commingled.
However, if spouses cannot agree regarding property division on their own, the Family Court will do it for them, considering, according to HI Rev Stat § 580-47, the following factors:
the respective merits of the spouses;
the relative abilities of the spouses;
the condition in which the divorce, will leave each spouse;
the burdens imposed upon either spouse for the benefit of the children of the spouses;
the concealment of or failure to disclose income or an asset, or violation of a restraining order;
and all other circumstances of the case.
Overall, a Hawaii court may consider fault when determining property division. Even though Hawaii does not have fault-based grounds for divorce, financial misconduct (such as gambling, drug use, embezzlement, etc.) can have a detrimental effect on the spouse at fault. That is the reason why Kauai County courts do not use a fixed formula to divide marital assets. They examine each case with discretion and take in an overall picture.
Dividing pension and retirement plans during divorce can be tricky. Spouses are advised to hire a financial consultant to do it properly and avoid losing a share of a pension, which can become evident only later on. Pension evaluators can value a pension and divide it equitably. Usually, direct payments are not made to former spouses. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is created, and when a pension is mature, payments will be made. Often couples negotiate to swap some marital assets for their pensions because the latter may be complicated to divide. In any case, you will need to consult a certified divorce financial analyst to make an informed decision.
Mediation support in Kauai County
Mediation is not mandatory in Hawaii. However, a Kauai County court may order mediation to sort out custody and child support. As a collaborative method to reach an agreement on divorce-related issues, mediation can be used together with legal representation. The use of mediation can cut down on legal fees because a couple can work with one mediator instead of each hiring an attorney. Divorcing spouses can resolve all their issues with a mediator who will draft their marital agreement for the judge to review.
How to file for divorce in Kauai County | Step-by-Step
Meet the residency requirements. Hawaii requires (1) either the petitioner or the defendant to have been a resident of the state for at least six months before filing the Complaint for Divorce; (2) the petitioner to have lived in the circuit where he or she is filing for at least three months. For more detail, see HI Rev Stat § 580-1. Make sure you know where to file the papers. In Hawaii, divorces are filed at family courts. Each island has its own circuit. For example, if you live in Oahu, you must file at the First Circuit; in Maui, Lanai, and Molokai – Second Circuit; on the Island of Hawaii and Hilo, Kona, and Rural areas – Third Circuit; Kauai – Fifth Circuit.
Obtain and fill out the court forms. You can get printable forms online or by physically dropping by the courthouse. If you use a divorce document preparation service, you will find instructions and the filing requirements in the divorce kit. If you complete the paperwork on your own, you can ask the court staff to help you. Mind that the court staff is not eligible to provide legal advice.
File the court forms. Bring three copies of the divorce documents to the county clerk’s office. All three copies must be signed and notarized. The court’s clerk files the original and accepts the filing fee from you. Also, the clerk stamps the copies and returns them to you. One copy is for you to serve on your spouse.
Serve the spouse. In case of an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse may agree to have an amicable divorce process. If your spouse agrees to accept the divorce paperwork, they sign an acceptance of service, and you file it with the court to show that you have served the defendant. To hand-deliver the paperwork to your spouse, you can ask your friend/family or hire a process server/sheriff.
Wait for the judge to finalize your divorce. Hawaii has no waiting period before making a divorce final. But by this stage, there are several points left on the divorce timeline. If your spouse did not sign an acceptance of service, he or she has 20 days to file a response to the divorce paperwork. You will have to submit your financial statements. As soon as all these important milestones have passed, the judge will review your case. Usually, it takes four to six weeks after the defendant’s response is filed. After the judge signs the divorce decree, you and your ex-spouse will get your certified copies by mail.
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Filing fees for divorce in Kauai County
In Hawaii, filing fees can vary from island to island. Overall, filing for divorce in Kauai County may cost from $250 to $315. Couples with children typically are charged with a slightly higher fee as they file more documents. Each temporary restraining order costs $15 to $20.
How long will it take?
Although Hawaii has no waiting period for divorcing couples, on average, a divorce will take one to three months to finalize. After the petitioner files the Complaint for Divorce with the court and serves the spouse with a copy, the defendant has 20 days to respond. It is up to the judge and the court’s workload when a couple’s paperwork is reviewed. As soon as the judge finds time in the schedule to look through the couple’s divorce papers and finds it without errors, their divorce gets finalized through a signed decree of divorce.
Filing for divorce in Kauai County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Kauai County? The cost of each divorce largely depends on the couple’s ability to communicate and agree. The less expensive you can make your agreement on custody, support, and property division, the less money you will pay for your divorce. The only mandatory payment is a filing fee the petitioner pays when submitting divorce documents to the court. In Kauai County, the court fee is between $250 and $315. Those petitioners who are low-income residents can request a fee waiver and pay nothing other than notary fees (for the notarization of the documents). All the rest of the costs and expenses depend on the issues you have to resolve. If you and your spouse cannot agree on custody and visitation, you can enroll in mediation. A mediator charges a fee by the hour. If you and your spouse need to divide a pension plan or appraise a family house before selling, you will want to hire a financial planner and an appraiser. Expert fees vary greatly. Ultimately, the cost of a divorce in Kauai County can range from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars. However, it is up to you to cut down on your divorce expenses.
How to file for divorce in Kauai County without a lawyer? Each state provides opportunities for divorcing couples to divorce cheaply and quickly. Hawaii is no exception. To get ready for a pro se divorce (on your own), you will need to read some information on how to get a divorce in Kauai County. OnlineDivorce.com helps with that. If you feel you need legal counsel, here is a list of contacts and organizations which provide limited free legal aid to divorcing spouses:
The Family Court Service Center (Ho’okele) (808) 954-8290
The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii (LASH) (808) 536-4302
The Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii (VLSH) (808) 528-7046
What are the required forms for an uncontested divorce in Kauai County? The list of divorce forms depends on the details in each specific family situation (with children or without; how much property, etc.). In general, a typical divorce kit for Kauai County will include:
Complaint for Divorce
Summons to Answer Complaint
Matrimonial Action Information
Proof of Service
Motion and Order for Service by Mail
Income and Expense Statement of Plaintiff and Asset and Debt
Statement of Plaintiff
Income and Expense Statement of Defendant and Asset and Debt
Statement of Defendant
Appearance and Waiver Worksheet
Proof of Service
Statement of Mailing
Affidavit of Plaintiff
Notice to Attend Kids First II
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
Supplemental Affidavit Re: Direct Payment Child Support
Order for Income Withholding
Can I file for legal separation in Kauai County, HI? Yes. Hawaii considers legal separation a legally binding agreement where spouses resolve custody, support, and property division as much as in a divorce process but remain legally married.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? Hawaii does not impose any restrictions on divorced people concerning remarriage after divorce.
Divorce in Kauai County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
Divorce Courts in Kauai County, Hawaii
Kaua'i County Family Court
3970 Ka`ana Street, Lihu`e, Hawaii 96766
Parking is available in front of the Fifth Circuit Courthouse (3970 Ka`ana Street).
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
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hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
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