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.