In order to file for divorce in Hawaii you must meet the residency requirements. You must be a resident of the state and physically present in the state for a minimum of 6 months prior to filing for divorce. In addition you must file in the appropriate circuit court. To file, you must have resided in the circuit court's jurisdiction for a minimum of 3 months.
Fill out your forms
When filing for a divorce you must file certain documents as required by the court. Most of the required forms are available through the Hawaii State Judiciary website. However, you must be careful when completing these forms as each circuit has slightly different forms and requirements when filing for divorce. In addition, each court requires certain additional forms depending on the issues requiring resolution. For example, many circuits require a parenting course be taken if minor children are involved.
Either spouse can commence a divorce by filing the appropriate documents with the county court. In general, the Plaintiff (the spouse starting the divorce) will need to file a Complaint for Divorce, Summons To Answer Complaint, and Matrimonial Action Information Sheet. After filing the appropriate starting documents the Plaintiff must serve his/her spouse (now referred to as the Defendant). The service is typically completed by a process server, sheriff or by publication (if you cannot locate your spouse). Once served, the Defendant will need to file a response called an Answer in order to prevent the Plaintiff from proceeding with a default judgment.
If the parties have reached an agreement and they do not desire to proceed with a lengthy trial they can use Rocket Lawyer's easy interview process to complete a Divorce Settlement Agreement, which outlines every issue in their marriage and how they wish to resolve the issue. The Divorce Settlement Agreement typically outlines issues of property division, debt division, child support, child custody, visitation, and alimony among others.
It is important to understand the court can reject any or all provisions set forth in the Divorce Settlement Agreement if the judge does not feel the terms provide for an equitable distribution of the marital assets and debts.
In addition, you can use RocketLawyer to Find a Lawyer in your area who can provide you with further assistance in completing your divorce.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.