If a person ends a marriage in Hawaii, they must first settle certain issues, for instance, if a couple has children, they must decide on visitation and child support. They must also divide debts and assets, and such issues are resolved during divorce proceedings in family court.
To start proceedings without divorce law attorneys in Honolulu, the applicant must complete certain forms that can be obtained online. Form requirements vary from one island to another, and clients should refer to the State Judiciary’s website for further details. Forms should be filled out completely, legibly and neatly, and they differ depending on family status, and defendants and plaintiffs receive different paperwork. Each packet includes instructions to help clients through the process.
When the client is ready, they should make copies of all paperwork and file the original in family court. There is a filing fee unless the client fills out an ex parte affidavit and motion to have the filing fees waived. When the documents are submitted to the court clerk, they are time and date-stamped and assigned a case file number. The other spouse should be served as soon as possible.
Process service is an important part of the U.S. legal system because it ensures that all parties know about the proceedings and that they are given the chance to plead their case. Plaintiffs in Hawaii are required to serve stamped copes of summonses, complaints, and other documents. Respondents must reply within 20 days or the other party wins by default judgment.
Rules of Service
If the respondent does not have legal representation, they should be served at home; however, if they have a lawyer, papers should be sent to the attorney’s office instead. Rules vary by island, but most cases are served in one of the following ways.
• Couples agreeing on all terms must sign appearance and waiver documents.
• Personal service can be given by a process server or other responsible adult who is not involved in the case.
• A defendant living on another island must be served by registered or certified mail with restricted delivery, and the return receipt must be signed and filed with the family court.
Consult divorce law attorneys in Honolulu for more details and for a free, no-obligation evaluation of the circumstances of a particular case.