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Divorce & Family Law Overview

Ohana Legal offers comprehensive legal counsel and representation to individuals and families in a wide array of situations, including:

Adoption
Adopting a child can be a wonderful experience – or it can be a stressful process filled with pitfalls and legal red tape. Hawaii’s  family laws can be confusing, and a mistake in any part of the process can mean that you have to start back at square one. At Ohana Legal, we are dedicated to making the adoption process as affordable and hassle-free as possible..

Alimony
Spousal support is an important financial issue that must be addressed in a divorce, and whether you will be paying or receiving alimony it may have a significant impact on your future. Will you be required to pay alimony? Will you be eligible to receive support from your ex-spouse, and for how long? There is no provision in state law which guarantees the outcome of these questions, but a skilled attorney can help you sway the outcome in your favor.

Child Custody
As a parent, child custody is likely one of your primary concerns in the face of a divorce. At the firm, you will find knowledgeable and compassionate help and information regarding the different types of custody, such as legal vs. physical custody and joint vs. sole custody. The attorneys are skilled in negotiating parenting plans that address the client’s needs while protecting the interests of the children.

Child Support
The financial support of children in the wake of a divorce is an essential part of their well-being. It may also have a tremendous impact on both parents’ financial situations. It is therefore important to make sure that your interests and your child’s needs are properly presented in negotiation, litigation or mediation.

Cohabitation Issues
When a person who is receiving spousal support begins living with another person, and their financial affairs are interdependent, this may provide sufficient grounds for the termination of alimony payments. Whether you are currently paying alimony or if you want to defend your right to receive payments, let an attorney from the firm fight for you.

Collaborative Divorce
Collaborating with your spouse during divorce as much as possible is the best strategy for saving money, time and stress, though this is not always possible. In a collaborative divorce, both spouses sign an agreement that they will work to resolve any disputes outside of the courtroom, through means such as mediation and negotiation rather than adversarial litigation.

Contempt Issues
After a divorce, the failure of either party to comply with a court order regarding alimony, child support or a parenting plan may result in the noncompliant party being held in contempt of court. The aggrieved party has a variety of methods of recourse, including wage garnishment, criminal charges and monetary penalties against the delinquent party.

Contested Divorce
Even when divorcing spouses start out in a somewhat amicable position, it is all too easy for important issues to turn things ugly. When spouses simply cannot reach agreements regarding issues pertinent to their divorce, they may need to be resolved with court intervention before the divorce can be finalized.

Domestic Violence
Domestic violence includes abuse of any kind between family members, spouses or ex-spouses, household members or people in a romantic relationship. This can complicate divorce or custody proceedings and may place you in fear for your safety. Whether you are being abused or if you have been falsely accused, an attorney from the firm is ready to protect your personal interests in the situation.

Equitable Distribution
Property that is considered to be “marital property” will be subject to equitable distribution in a Hawaii  divorce, meaning that it will be divided in a fair manner, rather than being split up exactly equally. Given that the division of assets and debts is largely subject to the judge’s opinion of what is fair, it pays to have an attorney on your side arguing on your behalf.

Grandparents’ Rights
Many grandparents have strong bonds with their grandchildren. This relationship can greatly enrich a child’s life, and when it is threatened by divorce or other issues, a grandparent may have the right to seek visitation or even custody.

Military Divorce
In a situation where one or both spouses are in the military, there are particular laws which will apply regarding support, property and other divorce-related matters. It is helpful to work with a lawyer who is familiar with the unique legal aspects of a military divorce.

Mediation
Ending a marriage can be a difficult and stressful process, but there are ways to move through this in an amicable manner. Mediation is a form of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party serves to facilitate discussion between you and your spouse, helping you resolve issues such as child custody and support, property division and alimony without acting on either party’s behalf.

Modification of Alimony
Job loss, remarriage, promotion or cohabitation are all potential reasons that a modification of alimony may be necessary. Whether you are interested in terminating alimony, reducing or increasing payments or protecting your right to receive support, the firm can help you bring a petition to court.

Modification of Child Support
There are various circumstances that may warrant a modification of child support, such as a change in the child’s needs, demotion or promotion at work, job loss or illness. It is important to work with an experienced divorce lawyer who can properly present your case to the judge.

Modification of Parenting Plan
A parenting plan will be put in place so there is a workable arrangement regarding a child’s living arrangements after a divorce. However, significant life changes such as job loss or a move to another county or out of state may necessitate an official modification to the custody arrangement in order to serve the children’s best interests.

Parental Relocation
When a parent who shares child custody wishes to relocate with the children, it is necessary to petition the court for a formal modification to the parenting plan, in order to avoid legal challenges from the other parent or even charges of parental kidnapping. Whether you are moving or if you are threatened with losing your children to a move, the firm is ready to help you.

Time Sharing
The term “time sharing” has replaced “visitation” in state law, but it still refers to the schedule allotted for a non-custodial parent to spend time with the children. The firm represents parents in time sharing establishment, modification and enforcement proceedings, working to achieve the most favorable arrangement possible.

Uncontested Divorce
Most of the negative connotations which come with the word “divorce” really belong to contested divorce, but if you and your spouse are able to come to agreements on the major issues such as child custody and division of property without going to court, you may be able to avoid a majority of the financial and emotional costs of ending your marriage. An attorney from the firm can help you seek this highly desirable outcome.

Why Hire a Divorce Attorney
If you are currently going through a divorce or are considering divorcing your spouse, you may wonder whether you need an attorney at this point. Retaining legal counsel as early as possible gives you a guide to help you navigate the situation and a dedicated advocate to fight for your rights.