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Category: Kamuela Divorce

Property Division Issues and Kamuela Divorce Lawyers

This part of marriage dissolution is often the most straightforward phase of a divorce, provided the couple has a premarital agreement. Most Hawaii County enforces these pacts unless they are glaringly one-sided or both spouses did not have independent Kamuela divorce lawyers.

In the country’s few community property states, property division is usually rather straightforward as well. The judge needs little more than a calendar and a calculator to split property according to the law.

But Hawaii is an equitable distribution state. Marital property must be divided according to a number of factors. So, unless there is a premarital agreement, Kamuela divorce lawyers often spend most of their time on this part of marriage dissolution.

Classifying Marital and Nonmarital Property

Before they divide property, Kamuela divorce lawyers must classify it as marital or nonmarital. The general rule is not hard to follow. Property acquired before the marriage or by gift is non-marital property. Everything else is marital property subject to division.

However, this general rule does not apply very well to many real-world situations. For example, spouses routinely use money from their paychecks to pay their student loans, even though that means they paid nonmarital debts with marital assets.

Things get even more complicated if, as is often the case, there is a family business. For example, the Wife might serve as the unpaid office manager of the Husband’s dental office. His business was certainly nonmarital property before the marriage, but after that, the lines are blurry.

To address issues like these, Kamuela divorce lawyers often partner with forensic accountants and other professionals. That makes a time-consuming process even more lengthy, but it is critical to get things right the first time. Measure twice and cut once, as the old woodworker’s saying goes.

Splitting Property and Kamuela Divorce Lawyers

Property division involves splitting property rights and obligations between the divorcing spouses. It is also known as equitable distribution. The division may either be mutually agreed upon by spouses through a property settlement or may be decided in court through the legal divorce process.

Property division is complex and is affected by state laws such as community property laws, marital contributions, and more. An experienced Kamuela divorce lawyer will be able to guide you through the maze and figure out the nitty-gritty.

As Hawaii is an equitable distribution state, the assets acquired before and during the marriage are subject to division post the divorce. Hawaiian courts also consider factors such as non-monetary contributions, payment towards partner’s education, and economic misconduct, among others. Further, even though divorce is not granted on the basis of fault in Hawaii, a judge may consider fault during the division of property, especially in the case of misconduct, such as drug use or gambling.

Kamuela divorce attorneys know that there is no one-size-fits-all formula to decide what’s equitable. We work with individual case facts and circumstances to arrive at the most helpful and desirable solutions for each client.

Resolving Property Division Disputes

Not every divorce matter needs to go to court. Divorces can be resolved through negotiations between the divorcing couple in the presence of an attorney. This involves the use of out-of-court alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings to arrive at a voluntary settlement.

More often than not, divorce cases are resolved before going to a judge or jury through ADR processes such as mediation and arbitration.

We understand that a rise in the number of couples opting for mediation for resolving their divorce-related issues indicates that the role of attorneys is undergoing a change. They no longer just represent their clients in court proceedings but are also acting as legal coaches, advisers, and consultants in the divorce mediation process.

As competent Kamuela divorce lawyers, we are well-versed in all types of ADRs and will facilitate the one that’s most appropriate for your case.

Call Kamuela Divorce Attorney Today to Settle Your Property Division

Divorce cases can be complex. Issues such as division of marital property and retirement plans, spousal and child support, as well as child custody need to be handled with expertise, assertiveness, and compassion. At Olson and Sons, L.C., we are committed to helping you achieve the most suitable resolution for your divorce issues. Our professional legal team will fight to protect your rights and uphold your best interests. Call us at 808-885-8533 to speak to an experienced Kamuela Divorce attorney. We are proficient in handling divorce matters in Hawaii County and nearby jurisdictions.

How a Kamuela Divorce Lawyer Can Help You Modify Alimony Payments?

In pretty much every way, Hawaii is a lot different from the other states in the Union. This difference includes alimony awards. Spousal support is available in the Rainbow State.

Spousal support payments are in a unique category. They are not quite child support, and they are not quite part of the property division. So, the amount and duration awards are subjective and can be modified later.

Generally, Hawaii County judges do not order alimony payments very often. That could be because Kamuela divorce lawyers do not ask for it, or because they do not ask the right way. Nevertheless, these payments are not easy to set up, and they are not easy to modify either. Generally, successful modifications hinge on one of the three below changes.

Need-Based Increases

Generally, alimony awards serve one of two functions. They either equalize the standard of living between the former spouses, or they give obligees (people receiving alimony payments) funds they need to reach specific goals.

For example, an oblige might need to finish a university degree in order to become economically self-sufficient. If the obligor (person paying alimony) has the financial ability to pay, a judge will often order spousal support, especially if the obligor was also the filing party.

These needs usually change over time. Some of these changes are predictable. Tuition goes up almost every year. Sometimes, change is unpredictable. Perhaps the school changes degree requirements or suddenly doubles tuition.

If there is an unpredictable need-based change, Hawaii County judges at least consider increasing support payments, assuming a Kamuela divorce lawyer laid the groundwork. This groundwork includes integrating language into the degree stating the obligee’s economic need and the purpose for alimony payments.

On the other side, Kamuela divorce lawyers can also oppose need-based increases. Perhaps the obligee has not received good grades in school, perhaps the need-based increase was predictable, or perhaps the obligor cannot afford to pay more.

Kamuela Divorce Lawyers and Ability-Based Decreases

This second category is probably the most common alimony adjustment basis. Income often goes down, and these changes are often unanticipated. Sometimes, they are also indirect. For example, in January 2019, the IRS ended the alimony payment tax deduction. Since these payments were no longer tax-deductible, some obligors argued that they could not afford to pay as much.

This tax law change brings up an important point. The income reduction must be involuntary, at least for the most part. Obligors cannot quit high-paying jobs to decrease their alimony obligations. Kamuela divorce lawyers see these moves rather frequently. Many obligors see alimony as a financial penalty, and they will do almost anything to reduce their obligations.

On a related note, retirement does not automatically end or even reduce, alimony payments. People get older and retire. So, this change is not unanticipated. If the obligor retired early, Kamuela divorce lawyers have an even better argument that the obligor stopped working to reduce the alimony obligation.

If either a reduction or increase is appropriate, Hawaii County judges usually recalculate the amount based on the factors in Hawaii law.

Relationship Changes

Under Hawaii law, the obligee’s remarriage usually terminates the obligor’s spousal support obligation. This principle is an exception to the unanticipated changes rule that applies in the previous two situations.
People are either married or they are not. That’s easy to determine. But what if the oblige has a long-term paramour? Can a Kamuela divorce lawyer reduce alimony payment in these situations?

Generally, Hawaii County judges look closely at the nature of the relationship. Some factors include the length of the relationship, any joint purchases the couple made, shared checking accounts or other financial pools, and non-familial gifts (e.g. the obligee’s Paramore give money to the obligee’s children).

Call Our Experienced Kamuela Divorce Attorney for Alimony Agreements

Alimony payments are not set in stone. Spousal support payments are subject to change depending on the changing circumstances of the obligee and the obligor. A Kamuela lawyer can help obligors reduce the payment amount. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Kamuela divorce lawyer, contact Olson & Sons, L.C at (808) 885-8533. After-hours visits are available.


How Marriage Dissolution Is Tackled by Kamuela Divorce Lawyers

Overall, the divorce rate has declined significantly since the 1990s. Yet the average marriage only lasts eleven years. So, most people will go through a marriage dissolution proceeding, especially if they have been married before.

In some parts of the country, divorce is a piecemeal process. But in Hawaii County, one marriage dissolution proceeding usually resolves all the emotional and financial issues the couple faces at the time. And, unless the marriage was extremely brief, there are always emotional and financial issues.

Since the divorce process is relatively streamlined in Hawaii, many people undertake do-it-yourself divorces. DIY may be a good idea in certain situations, but it’s a bad idea with regard to divorces. A good Kamuela divorce lawyer helps you get through this process as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Emotional Issues in a Divorce

Regardless of the circumstances, most people grieve after a divorce. Even if they do not lament the end of the relationship, they sometimes grieve over what might have been. A Kamuela divorce lawyer is obviously not a therapist, but an attorney can help you process these feelings. If needed, a Kamuela divorce lawyer can also refer you to a family therapist.

However, most emotional issues involve child visitation and child custody. Typically, the judge holds a temporary hearing about two weeks after the petitioner files legal paperwork. Although the orders are technically “interim,” they frequently become permanent. So, assertive representation is important right out of the gate.

As the case proceeds and more evidence emerges, the focus shifts from the current situation to the best interests of the children. Some factors include:

1. Prior Parenting Patterns: In many relationships, there is a “fun” parent and a “discipline” parent. Fun moms and dads usually make poor residential custodians. Most relationships also feature a “caregiver” parent and a “breadwinner” parent. Breadwinner moms and dads usually make poor residential custodians. However, these roles frequently overlap.

2. Child’s Needs: This factor usually refers to a child’s special needs, as opposed to regular needs. Some parents do not have the tools or temperament to deal with some situations. Or, at least the other parent is better suited.

3. Ability to Co-Parent: Some parents hire bulldog Kamuela divorce lawyers who contest every point. This strategy often backfires. Judges assume that if a parent is contentious during the divorce, the parent will also be contentious later.

4. Domestic Abuse: If there are verified allegations of domestic abuse against a party, it is almost impossible for that person to win a custody fight. Domestic abuse could be physical, mental, or emotional.

Evidence on these points often comes from a social services investigation. Hawaii County judges normally order these investigations in contested cases. The social worker’s conclusions are not binding, but they are very weighty.

Kamuela Divorce Lawyers and Financial Issues

Both at the time of divorce and afterward, child custody and child support are completely separate issues. One parent cannot withhold visitation if the other parent is behind on support payments. There are almost certainly other consequences, but that’s the subject of another blog.

To determine the child support amount, Hawaii law uses the Melson formula. This complex calculation includes such factors as the parents’ income, parenting time division, the child’s needs, and the parents’ financial needs.

In terms of property division, Hawaii law sets forth a number of factors to assist in making an equitable division. Some of these factors include:

  • Length of the marriage,
  • Relative age, health, and educational background of each spouse,
  • Non-Economic contributions to the marriage (the so-called “homemaker effect”),
  • Any agreements between the parties, and
  • Custody of minor children.

Equitable is generally the same thing as equal, but that’s not always the case. Legally, marital property must be divided in such a way that the divorce is not an unfair financial burden on either party.

Alimony is the final financial issues that Kamuela divorce lawyers deal with. Generally, spousal support is a short-term obligation that gives spouses the resources they need to become self-sufficient. For example, a spouse might need to finish a degree or accept a low-paying job to re-enter the workforce.

In some cases, judges order long-term alimony to equalize the standard of living between the spouses. These payments are usually limited to the length of the marriage (e.g. ten years of alimony following a ten-year marriage). Moreover, a Kamuela divorce lawyer must introduce substantial evidence of inequity, like a disability.

Hire an Aggressive Kamuela Lawyer for Help with Marriage Dissolution

Marriage dissolution usually involves emotional and financial issues. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Kamuela divorce lawyer, contact Olson & Sons, L.C. Convenient payment plans are available. Call us on (808) 201-2041 to gain sound legal counsel and vigorous defense in your case.


Marriage Dissolution Procedure and Kamuela Divorce Lawyers

In 2017, divorce’s moral acceptability rating hit an all-time high. People who have never considered marriage dissolution before, including long-time married couples who are religiously active, now see divorce as a legitimate way to end a poor relationship.

Procedurally, most of these cases settle out of court. Couples agree on issues like property distribution and parenting time division. But this agreement usually does not come quickly or easily. In our experience, if people know what to excpect in a divorce, that insight takes some of the fear out of the marriage dissolution process. Having the right Kamuela divorce lawyer helps immensely as well. Only attorneys with the right tools and temperments should handle modern divorce cases.

In the no-fault divorce era, fault is rarely an issue in a marriage dissolution matter. Instead, the focus is on the children and on property division.

Temporary Hearing

Inertia is one of the key rules of physics. Isaac Newton observered that bodies at rest tend to stay at rest, while bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. Inertial is an important legal principle as well. Once a case starts heading a certain way, it is difficult, but not impossible, to change directions.

In divorce cases, intertial develops quickly. Most Hawaii County family law judges hold temporary hearings about two weeks after a petitioner files divorce paperwork. At this hearing, the judge makes important determinations concerning:

  • Temporary Alimony: Many Hawaii County judges hesitate to grant alimony. But if a Kamuela divorce lawyer presents a compelling economic need, the judge will probably go along with the idea. Unless financial circumstances change significantly in the next few months, these alimony orders often become permanent.
  • Parenting Time Division: When it comes to the children, most judges like to see as much stability as possible. Therefore, whatever parenting time division is in the temporasry orders, even if the division is not perfect, is likely to be in the permanent orders as well.

Most judges also issue property and personal injunctions. Property injunctions prevent either spouse from disposing of property while the divorce is pending. Personal injunctions apply ot things like disparaging the other parent in front of the children.

Discovery and Kamuela Divorce Lawyers

If new evidence becomes available, it normally surfaces during the discovery process. Just like most temporary orders contain personal and property orders, divorce discovery usually covers these same areas.

Generally, in contested parenting time division cases, the judge orders a social service investigation. A social worker evaluates each home and each parent. The social worker also intwerviews the children, their teachers, their caregivers, and other relevant parties. Then, the social worker submits a report to the court.

This report’s conclusions are not technically binding. But they have considerable weight. In fact, a different social services recommendation is the best way to alter the inertia of a parenting plan determination.

Divorce discobvery usually includes financial discobvery as well. IN some cases, this discovery might not be much more complex than an exchange of W-2s. In other situations, financial discovery may be quite intricate. That’s especially true after a long marriage.

Over time, property becomes commingled. For example, Wife might use funds from her paycheck (marital asset) to pay her student loans (nonmarital debt).


Once discovery is at least substantially complete, Kamuela divorce lawyers may begin settlement negotiations in earnest. Frequently, the parties can talk things out between themselves. Other times, however, mediation is a good idea.

Assuming both parties negotiate in good faith, medication is generally successful. In this context, “good faith” usually means that both sides are willing to make sacrifices to get a deal done. But successful resolution is not mediation’s only benefit.

Mediation usually involves significant cost savings. According to the Department of Justice, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution save civil litigants over $1 million per year in legal fees. That’s money they could put elsewhere.

Additionally, mediation frequently increases voluntary compliance. The litigants feel like they have more control over the outcome. As a result, that could mean fewer subsequent motions to enforce.

Contact a Passionate Divorce Attorney in Kamuela

All marriage dissolutions usually involve financial and emotional issues. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Kamuela divorce lawyer, contact Olson & Sons, L.C. We have offices in Kona and Kamuela.




How Kamuela Divorce Lawyers Collect Past-Due Child Support

Most people would agree that children should not be financially punished when their parent’s divorce. So, Hawaii’s income share child support model is designed, in part, to give children the same standard of living they would have ad if their parents remained married. But over half of the nonresidential custodians in the Rainbow State do not pay the full child support amount.

In these situations, the state technically has the right to pursue past-due amounts. But it often takes many months, or even longer, for a short-staffed state agency to get results. Additionally, the lawyer assigned to the case represents the state. That lawyer does not have your family’s best interests at heart.

So, a partnership with a Kamuela divorce lawyer may be a better idea. A private attorney acts quickly to preserve your children’s financial rights. And, a Kamuela divorce lawyer is dedicated to you, and not to some vague concept of child support enforcement. This partnership usually leads to one of the following child support enforcement mechanisms.

Note that withholding visitation is not on this list. It is illegal to deny visitation because the obligor is delinquent. Doing so basically holds the children for ransom.

Attachments and Property Liens

If an obligor (person paying child support) is delinquent, the obligee (person who is owed support) may file a lien or attachment. Generally, Hawaii’s child support law allows obligees to file property liens against the real or personal property at any time. Attachments are usually a bit more complex.

Liens usually do not generate money, or at least not very much money. They are attention-getting devices. For example, if a Kamuela divorce lawyer files a lien on Father’s house, he need not pay it straight away. Instead, before he sells the house, he must satisfy the lien.

Attention-getting devices like these are often effective. Sometimes, a more aggressive action may be akin to pouring gasoline on a smoldering fire.

License Suspension to Receive Past-Due Child Support

Often, Kamuela divorce lawyers start with liens in child support actions. As mentioned, they are easy to acquire. If the lien does not get the obligor’s attention, or the obligee does not feel a lien would be effective, drivers’ or professional license suspension is usually the next step up.

Hawaii law allows both kinds of suspension. Driving on a suspended license is a serious offense in the Rainbow State, as is practicing law, medicine, or other professions without a valid license. Our hypothetical Father might essentially ignore a property lien, but if his law license suddenly becomes invalid, he may reach out to the Kamuela divorce lawyer who filed the suspension action and work out a payment plan.

Payment Intercept

Many people receive tax refunds in the spring. Other people are entitled to insurance payouts or lottery winnings. If the obligor’s delinquency exceeds a certain amount, a Kamuela divorce lawyer may file a request and intercept these payments.

Typically, these payments are less than a few thousand dollars. So, if the obligor is seriously delinquent, payment intercept will not pay off the entire balance owed. However, payment intercept usually pays a sizeable chunk. This intervention crosses the border between attention-getting and revenue-producing.

Wage Withholding to Speed up Past-Due Child Support

If the obligor has a regular job, a wage withholding order is usually a good idea. There is usually some legwork because most local companies use out-of-state payroll agencies. But, most Kamuela divorce lawyers include dormant wage withholding orders in divorce decrees. They just need to activate them. Legally, the obligee can withhold up to 50 percent of the obligor’s wages.

Alternatively, if the obligor is self-employed, many judges may order the obligor to build a reserve fund as well as repay delinquency. So, in the event of further delinquency, there is some money available.

Contempt of Court

Jail time is usually a last resort. No one wants to see obligors go to jail for not paying child support, especially because such incarceration may be illegal. U.S. law forbids debtors’ prisons.

Still, if the obligor has not responded to earlier collection efforts, jail time may be appropriate. Most people can raise money in a hurry when they are behind bars, even if they owe many thousands of dollars. Typically, a Hawaii County judge orders the obligor to pay about half the balance upfront to get out of jail, and then satisfy the rest through a payment plan.

Contact a Dedicated Kamuela Divorce Attorney

Child support eases the financial pain of divorce for innocent children. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Kamuela divorce lawyer, contact Olson & Sons, L.C. After-hours and home visits are available.


Kamuela Divorce Lawyers and Basic Hawaii Child Support Calculations

The Rainbow State is one of only three jurisdictions in the country which uses the complex Melson Formula to determine child support obligations. Montana and Delaware, where Judge Elwood Melson developed this formula in the 1980s, are the other two states. This formula gives Kamuela divorce lawyers the opportunity to preserve the legal and financial rights of both mothers and fathers. Continue reading “Kamuela Divorce Lawyers and Basic Hawaii Child Support Calculations”