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Hawaii Court Records

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How to file for divorce in Hawaii

Divorce in Hawaii refers to the termination of an existing marriage between two living persons. Title 31 subsection 580 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes provides interpretation and regulation of divorce cases in the state. Hawaii ranks 39th position in divorce rates across the United States of America, the latest update being 6.7 divorces per 1000 women of the ages of 15 years and above. It is important to note that there were no significant differences in the divorce rate over the last 10 years. The Family Courts across the state of Hawaii adjudicate cases of divorce.

The records contained in documents related to family court include both marriage and divorce records. Both types of records contain information that is considered very personal to the parties involved, and it is recommended that those parties maintain these records with care in order to make changes in the future. The personal nature of these records results in both being considerably more difficult to find and obtain when compared to other types of public records. In many cases, these records are not available through either government sources or third party public record websites.often have a company of extended issues such as custody rights of involved children, distribution of assets, and debts between both parties. It is therefore important to get enough information about the laws of the state regarding divorce before commencing one.

Do I need a Reason for Divorce in Hawaii?

Under the laws of the state (subsection 580–41), Hawaii adjudicates divorces purely on no-fault grounds. It means that a party does not have to be liable for the breakdown of a marriage. Legal reasons for a no-fault divorce in Hawaii include the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, or separate residence of the parties under a decree of separation from bed and board (having expired the period of separation) with no chance of reconciliation.

Failure to meet the residency requirement (six months) before filing makes up insufficient grounds for divorce in the state.

Why do I need a Divorce lawyer?

Divorce cases could get complicated when court proceedings begin. It is especially true when it is a contested divorce or both parties cannot agree on the matters of settlement. The services of a divorce lawyer will help in interpreting the law correctly and ensuring a smooth progression during a divorce process.

How do I get started in a Divorce in Hawaii?

The first requirement to get started in a divorce process in Hawaii is to determine the eligibility to file a divorce. A filing party or the spouse must have been resident in Hawaii at least 6 months before filing and 3 months within the island or judicial circuit of interest. The Family Court section of the Hawaii State Judiciary Website provides forms for uncontested divorces. While the court staff may answer general questions, it is important to consult with an attorney before proceeding on the legal action. Contested or complicated divorces may require the creation of special documents for that purpose. In most cases, only an experienced attorney can do this efficiently. However, the basic framework for initiating a process goes thus:

Identify the island or circuit of residence of the filing party or spouse. There are four circuits in Hawaii: O’ahu (1st judicial circuit), Maui, Moloka’i or Lana’i (2nd judicial circuit), Hawai’i (3rd judicial circuit), Kaua’i (5th judicial circuit)

Download the forms from the relevant link. Otherwise contact the ground address of the Judiciary Courthouse of the Family Court Service Centre for each island. Each circuit provides a court fee schedule relevant to the type of case being filed. Use the court schedule to decide how much fees will be paid. Here is a sample court schedule. There are separate forms of divorce with children and cases without children. A list of miscellaneous forms are also available on each website to capture extended issues such as answer to complaint, restraining orders and pretrial orders,. It is essential to have a full understanding of the legal process in order to determine which forms apply to the case.

How to file for divorce in Hawaii without a Lawyer?

The laws of the state permit filing parties to self-litigate in a divorce proceeding. It is easier to do so in an uncontested divorce because both parties have agreed on areas that could warrant the need for additional court hearings. Parties wishing to self-litigate can use the interactive interviews to get prepared. In a contested divorce or cases that have adjoining issues such as domestic abuse, it becomes almost imperative to get the service of a family court lawyer.

Divorce and marriage records may be available through government sources and organizations, though their availability cannot be guaranteed. This is also true of their availability through third-party websites and companies, as these organizations are not government-sponsored and record availability may vary further. Finally, marriage and divorce records are considered extremely private due to the information they contain, and are often sealed. Bearing these factors in mind, record availability for these types of records cannot be guaranteed.

How does Hawaii Divorce Mediation work?

The Hawaii State Judiciary provides information about mediation options for divorce cases in the state. Here, divorcing parties can agree without using lawyers or going to court by getting the services of an impartial mediator from any of the community mediation centers. The mediation option provides more control over the outcome of the case. There is also the advantage of privacy, speed, and non-formality as opposed to rules of evidence needed in court. It is more cordial, thus promoting healthier relationships after the divorce. There are community mediation centres in each of the circuits of Family Courts in the state. Visit the community mediation centre address page for more information. The state judiciary also provides legal resources to facilitate a smooth mediation process. Among them are basic facts about divorce, links to divorce forms, and an overview of the process

How long after mediation is divorce final in Hawaii?

There is no fixed time after mediation before divorce is final in Hawaii. In fact, there is no set time allocated to a mediation process so long as both parties are interested in participating. However, when a mediation process is complete, the procedural framework for finalizing a divorce is much simpler. The only court hearing both parties get to have is to receive the final decree of the divorce.

Are divorce records public in Hawaii?

Yes. Divorce records in Hawaii are public records. It means that any interested person can request to view or copy them. The Family Court and Judicial Circuit with current jurisdiction on the case has the responsibility of maintaining and issuing both access and copies to requesters as needed.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How do I get Hawaii divorce records?

Any interested party can request to view or copy a divorce record in person by mail or online provided the basic search information is available. Key among them are:

  • The case file ID
  • The names of the divorce parties
  • The Courthouse location of the divorce
  • An estimate time frame of the divorce

The Hoóhiki Case Search provides online access to persons wishing to view basic information about a divorce case. Otherwise, interested parties must contact the court of interest by submitting a request in person or by mail. Certified copies will require that requester present a valid proof of identification. There are fees associated with a request for copies of records.

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