Hawaii Divorce Laws

If you’re considering filing for dissolution of marriage on one of the Hawaiian islands, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the unique divorce laws in Hawaii and how they will apply to you. While ending a marriage is never easy, understanding the legal aspects can help you navigate the process more smoothly and with less emotional turmoil.

In this article, we’ll explore Hawaii’s divorce laws most spouses need to be aware of before making major decisions. These will cover the grounds for divorce, property division, alimony, child custody, and support. Whether you’re just starting to consider your options or you’re ready to take the steps to divorce in Hawaii, this article will provide you with valuable information to make sure you’re well-prepared for the process.

Hawaii Divorce Requirements

There are a few major Hawaii divorce requirements that spouses are supposed to meet before getting a dissolution of marriage in the state.

Residency Requirements

According to Hawaii’s divorce laws, one of the spouses must be a state resident for at least 6 months to meet the filing requirement. They should also live on the same island or in the same county for at least 3 months before filing.

Settlement Agreements

Child custody and support, alimony, and the division of assets and debts – there has to be full agreement on these matters before filing for an uncontested dissolution of marriage. If these issues are disputed, spouses will need to go through mediation and possibly a trial to settle them.

Information Collection

Before filing for dissolution of marriage in Hawaii, one should gather crucial information on their case to properly complete dissolution of marriage forms:

  • Date and location of marriage. These details establish jurisdiction and prove you meet residency requirements.
  • Details about minor children ensure child custody, visitation, and support are addressed properly.
  • Details on property owned jointly or separately. This information is required for equitable property distribution.
  • Income and expense information is used to determine spousal and child support.
  • Grounds for divorce establish a legal basis for granting the dissolution of marriage.
  • Proposed parenting plan and custody/visitation schedule. Courts must approve arrangements that serve the best interests of children.
  • History of domestic violence, if applicable. This information impacts property division, support awards, and custody decisions.

According to divorce laws in Hawaii, the petitioner needs to provide the other spouse with proper notice of the divorce filing and attend any required court hearings or appointments. Make sure to follow all applicable procedures clearly outlined in Hawaii divorce laws within the listed timeframes.

What Are the Divorce Laws in Hawaii?

Hawaii divorce law determines how the courts address matters such as property division, alimony, child custody and support, and the grounds for obtaining dissolution of marriage in the state. In order to undergo the process smoothly, you need to learn what are the divorce laws in Hawaii that may apply to your family and financial situations.

We offer a general overview of the main divorce laws in Hawaii below.

Property Division

According to Haw. Stat. § 580-47, all real, personal, or mixed assets and debts acquired during the marriage or separately by each spouse are divided fairly based on criteria like each spouse’s contributions and economic circumstances. In Hawaii, the court utilizes partnership principles of property division.

Spousal Support or Maintenance

The court may order either spouse to make periodic alimony (spousal support) payments to the other party. The court will consider various factors, including both spouses’ financial resources and earning capacity, to reach a reasonable decision. Alimony may be ordered temporarily or permanently (Haw. Stat. § 580-47).

Child Custody

In Hawaii, child custody arrangements are based on the child’s best interests, as in most states. The courts determine custody based on factors like the wishes of children and parents, who/what the child is more attached to, health and safety considerations, and more (Haw. Stat. § 571-46).

Child Support

Haw. Stat. § 576D-7 establishes guidelines to determine the amount of child support based on the child’s needs and standard of living and each parent’s income, earning capacity, and reasonable expenses. The court sets support to foster the child’s best interests.

Grounds for Divorce

As of 2022, Hawaii updated its divorce laws and now only allows no-fault divorce based on irretrievable marriage breakdown per Haw. Stat. § 580-41. Such a stance means divorce can no longer be granted on fault grounds in the state. The only pathway now is showing evidence that marital bonds are irreparably damaged.


The main Hawaii divorce laws pertain to equitable property division, guidelines for spousal support, factors influencing child custody and support, and the changes in the available grounds for obtaining dissolutionment of marriage.

No, as of 2022, marital fault is no longer a reason for granting divorce in Hawaii. The state updated its laws and now only allows no-fault divorce based on an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Hawaii utilizes partnership distribution principles for property division in divorce. All property and debts, whether community, joint, or separate, are divided fairly between the spouses based on statutory factors like their respective contributions and economic circumstances.

Divorce laws in Hawaii do not mandate any separation period before filing for dissolutionment of marriage.

Yes, annulments that void the marriage are allowed under certain circumstances per Hawaii law, such as incest, bigamy, being too young to consent, fraud, force, physical incapacity, or mental illness.