Hawaii Marital Settlement Agreement | Hawai`i

The Hawai`i marital settlement agreement may be drafted when filing for divorce to define the separation terms between spouses. Conditions addressed in the settlement agreement include child support, alimony, minor custody rights, parental responsibilities, and the division of property. A marital settlement agreement is a legal contract and, as such, may be enforced when either party breaches its stipulations.

How to File for Divorce in Hawaii

  • Where to File – Family Court
  • Filing Fee – $215 (No Children); $265 (With Children)
  • How Long Does it Take? Thirty (30) to Ninety (90) days (source: 3stepdivorce.com)

Divorce Forms

Uncontested Divorce with No Children:

Uncontested Divorce With Children:

Step 1 – File Divorce Forms

The filer (known as the “plaintiff”) will need to submit the below documents, once completed, to the Family Court and pay a fee ($215 without children, $265 with children). If the plaintiff is unable to afford the fee, they can ask the court for an exemption by filing a Declaration in Support of Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. A court clerk will keep the original documents and stamp the photocopies. The copies will be returned to the plaintiff.

Step 2 – Parental Documents

If the couple has minor children, the following forms must also be completed and submitted to the court:

After submitting the above documents, a clerk will order the couple to attend the Children in Transition parenting course or the Children First Program. The parents must attend this program with their children between the ages of six (6) and eighteen (18) who reside with them.

Step 3 – Additional Documents

The parties will need to disclose their finances in an Income and Expense Statement and Asset and Debt Statement. All financial information must be current within sixty (60) days of the initial filing date. If the spouses have minor children, they must complete a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet and any applicable child support documents. All forms and photocopies must be submitted to the court. After filing, each spouse should deliver a set of stamped photocopies to the other.

Step 4 – Separation Agreement

The couple will need to discuss the terms of their separation with regard to alimony payments, custody rights, parental responsibilities, and the distribution of assets. After the parties reach an agreement, they are encouraged to record the terms in a Marital Separation Agreement. The settlement terms must also be recorded in a Divorce Decree (no children) or Divorce Decree (with children). Photocopies of the Divorce Decree should be made and all documents must be filed with the court.

Step 5 – Serve Documents on Spouse

The plaintiff must formally notify the other spouse (the “defendant”) of the divorce case by serving them with stamped copies of the Complaint for Divorce and Summons to Answer Complaint. The following services methods may be used in Hawai`i:

  • Personal Service
    • The plaintiff can personally deliver the document to the defendant. The defendant must complete an Appearance and Waiver and sign it in the presence of a notary public. At least one (1) copy of the Appearance and Waiver should be made, and both the original and the copies must be filed with the court.
  • Third-Party Service
    • The documents may be served by a third-party who is authorized to serve legal papers. After delivering the documents, the service person must complete a Proof of Service and return it to the plaintiff. The Proof of Service and at least one (1) photocopy must be filed with the court.
  • Certified or Registered Mail

Step 6 – Submit Remaining Documents

After serving the divorce papers, the defendant will need to file a written answer within twenty (20) days. A copy of the answer must be served on the plaintiff. The plaintiff must then complete an Affidavit of Plaintiff and sign it before a notary public. The Affidavit of Plaintiff and photocopies must be filed with the court.

Step 7 – Judge’s Decision

A judge will review the case and decide whether a divorce should be granted. In some circumstances, the couple may be required to appear in court for a hearing to settle the case. After approving the divorce request, the parties should receive a certified copy of the Divorce Decree in the mail indicating that the marriage has been terminated.

Step 8 – Change Name

If a name change was sought by either spouse, the new name should be stated in the Divorce Decree. The spouse may then use the Divorce Decree as proof of the name change when updating their information with the Social Security Administration, DMV, and other agencies.