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Hawaii Divorce & Finances

UPDATED: February 27, 2020

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The separation of joint finances is certainly one of the least pleasant aspects of going through a divorce. It’s understandable that you might be very uncertain about this process. How does the court divide property? What are the tax consequences of your divorce? Are there estate planning issues that you and your ex-spouse need to resolve? Will there be spousal support payments, and if so, what will the parameters of those payments be? The following are laws specific to Hawaii Divorce and Finances.


Hawaii Property Division/Community Property/Debts:

Hawaii is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that marital property will be distributed on terms the court considers to be fair. Note that this does not necessarily mean that the division will be equal. In making its determination, the court will consider, among other things, the contributions of each spouse to the marital estate, the total value of the properties of the parties, the economic circumstances of each party, any misconduct that may have occurred, and the amount of spousal support awarded.

Hawaii Spousal Support:

There is no automatic obligation for either spouse to support the other in the event of a divorce. Where the court does grant spousal support (also called maintenance or alimony), it does so on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of many factors including:

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking support,
  2. The time and input of resources necessary for the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and sufficient education and/or training for that employment,
  3. The established subjective standard of living during the marriage,
  4. Marriage duration,
  5. Physical and emotional condition of the party seeking maintenance,
  6. The ability of the would-be payor spouse to meet his/her own needs while meeting those of the other spouse, and
  7. Any other factors the court deems relevant.

Note that the spousal award amount and duration, once determined, are not set in stone. The court may modify or eliminate the award when circumstances justify doing so, for instance when the receiving party enters into another marriage or similar arrangement, or a party experiences a material change in financial circumstances.

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