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Hawaii Court Records

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What is Child Support and When does it Occur in Hawaii?

When a child’s parents get divorced or separated, or if the parents are unmarried, the court can make a decision about where the child lives, who can make the decisions concerning the child, and how the child receives support. The determination of a child’s residence and decision-making authority is custody, and it determines how much parents pay in child support. Hawaii state laws support two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody determines which parent can make decisions concerning the child’s welfare and development, including where the child goes to school, how the child is raised, and other important decisions. Physical custody, on the other hand, determines where the child lives or spends more time, including where the child spends important holidays.

Hawaii courts may grant joint or sole legal custody and joint or sole physical custody. In a joint legal custody arrangement, both parents have the legal authority to make important decisions concerning a child, while in sole custody arrangements, only one parent may make such decisions. The same applies to physical custody; in a joint physical custody arrangement, the child spends time with both parents. Parents may draw up a visiting schedule for this. In a sole physical custody arrangement, the child lives with one parent and the other parent gets visitation rights. In determining the best custody arrangement for a child, the court considers the child’s best interests (HRS § 571–46),, which include the child’s needs and the parents’ ability.

Child support is the court-ordered amount that either or both parents pay to support the child’s welfare and development. It covers everything from basic needs like housing and shelter to entertainment. In Hawaii, the courts determine child support payment amounts, while the Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Office of Child Support Hearings enforce child support payments.

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What is Hawaii Child Support?

Hawaii laws require both parents to support minor children financially. The child’s needs must be a priority for both parents. However, the custodial parent, that is, the parent that the child lives with or spends the most time with receives child support from the non-custodial parent. The child support amount that the court awards depends on several factors, including the parents’ income, the number of children each parent supports, and the child’s needs. However, Hawaii has a minimum child support amount of $70. The court uses Child Support Guidelines in child support cases to protect the child’s interests and ensure that the child receives adequate support from both parents. Child support ends when the child turns 18 or when the child graduates from high school.

What Does Child Support Cover in Hawaii?

Child support ensures that a minor child receives the financial support required for upkeep and welfare. In Hawaii, child support payments cover the child’s following needs:

  • Basic needs: this includes clothing, housing, and food
  • Education: this includes tuition, school uniforms, books, and private tutors when required
  • Medical needs: medical insurance is a very important part of child support. However, child support also includes other medical expenses, including out-of-pocket medical expenses and emergency surgeries.
  • Entertainment: toys, games, and internet access.
  • Child care: this includes daycare, nannies, and babysitters.

What is the Average Child Support Payment in Hawaii?

Hawaii uses the Child Support Guideline and the worksheet (CSGW) to determine the amount payable each month. The guideline considers custody arrangements, each parent’s income, and the child’s needs, including medical insurance and childcare expenses. Parents may agree to pay a higher amount than the guideline stipulates, but the parents may not pay a lower amount unless the court agrees to exceptional circumstances. The minimum child support amount in Hawaii is $70.

How do I apply for Child Support in Hawaii?

Interested parties may apply for child support through the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA). However, applicants must first establish the child’s paternity before filing for a child support order. Interested parties may also file for child support with the Family Court. Once the CSEA sets a hearing date, the Office of Child Support Hearings (OCSH) can address or hear the case. The OCSH aims to quickly resolve child support disputes fairly and impartially.

The CSEA enforces child support orders and collects child support payments through wage assignment. The obligor may also pay child support to the CSEA through other means, including cash, check, debit card, credit card, or online payment portals. Interested parties may apply for CSEA services by submitting an application form.

How do I Get Out of Paying Child Support in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, interested parties may request a child support payment review once every three (3) years. Parties may also request reviews sooner than three (3) years if there are extraordinary circumstances, including a significant change in income, incarceration, or job loss. The review may result in an increase or decrease in child support amount. The review may also result in no changes to the child support amount. Outside extraordinary circumstances, parents may not waive or ignore child support payments.

What is Back Child Support in Hawaii?

When an obligor refuses to comply with a child support order, the accumulated amount that the obligor owes the obligee is back child support or past-due child support. The Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) enforces child support orders and collects past-due child support in Hawaii.

How do I Get Back Child Support Paid in Hawaii?

Interested parties may get back child support payments in Hawaii by filing for enforcement with the Family Court by contacting the CSEA. The Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) uses enforcement tools to collect past-due child support, including:

  • State and federal tax refund offset program
  • Administrative offset program
  • Income withholding
  • Passport denial program
  • Credit bureau reporting
  • Liens
  • Financial institution data match
  • Medical support enforcement
  • License suspension process

Is there a Hawaii Statutes of Limitation on Child Support?

It is possible to collect back child support or child support debt up to ten (10) years after the last court order or judgment, or until the child turns 33 years old. However, for child support payments that a parent owes to the state, there is no statute of limitations.

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