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Divorce is the psychological equivalent of a triple coronary by-pass. After such a monumental assault on the heart, it takes years to amend all the habits and attitudes that led up to it.
From Oahu to the Big Island, the Law Offices of Edward J.S.F. Smith provides quality legal assistance in Hawaii law. We have considerable experience dealing with contested divorces and annulments and can provide you with the advocacy needed to obtain an outcome that meets your needs and help you through this stressful time.


Hawaii has no-fault divorce and does not require that grounds be proven, other than that the marriage is irretrievably broken. As long as at least one spouse has resided in the state for a minimum of six months, that spouse is eligible to file a petition for dissolution of the marriage. The length of the process from filing the petition to receiving the final divorce decree depends upon the number and complexity of the issues to be resolved, but even an uncontested divorce takes several months to finalize.

Child Custody and Visitation

The court can award some form of joint custody or award custody solely to one parent, depending upon what it determines is in the best interests of the child. If sole custody is awarded, the court may still grant visitation rights to the other parent or to siblings, grandparents, and others interested in the welfare of the child. If domestic violence is an issue in the divorce, the court may require that visitation be supervised.

Our firm is experienced in domestic violence matters and understands how these difficult issues may impact custody and visitation orders. In addition, we have a great deal of experience in international child abduction cases, where one spouse removes the child to a foreign country. Regardless of the complexity of your child custody matter, our office provides sensitive, caring, and able assistance to make sure your rights as a parent are protected.

Child Custody Modification

Either party may petition the court for a modification of support orders upon a showing of a change in the circumstances of either party or the children, such as a change in either party's income or health or a change in the child's health care needs, including health insurance. The law also allows the custodial parent to petition the court for a review of the support order every three years without having to show a change in circumstances
In general, the court has wide latitude in determining the major issues in a divorce, such as property division, child support, and spousal support (also known as alimony or maintenance). While the court is given a list of factors to consider, these factors are extremely subjective and can be the subject of much dispute in a contested divorce. Even in the case of child support, where the monthly support amount is calculated according to statutory guidelines, the court may deviate from that amount when "exceptional circumstances" warrant a departure.

Immigration Issues

A divorce can impact the immigration status of a lawful permanent resident or an alien on conditional status who is married to a U.S. citizen. Given the firm's extensive practice in both family law and immigration, we are uniquely positioned to address these situations knowledgably from both sides of the issue.


Given the subjectivity of the factors involved in determining an award of custody, support, or property, it is imperative that you obtain the services of a knowledgeable, experienced attorney who understands the issues involved and can advocate effectively for your interests. Contact the Law Offices of Edward J.S.F. Smith for sound advice and representation in your divorce.

Mr. Smith's experience encompasses divorces involving military spouses, domestic abuse, and interstate child abduction and parental kidnapping issues, including child return matters under the International Hague Convention. In fact, his is the only law firm in the area actively handling international child abduction cases.

At the Law Offices of Edward J.S.F. Smith, we are committed to providing high-quality, legal representation at cost-effective rates. For the convenience of our clients, we offer flexible payment plans and office hours.

Contact us today for an initial telephone consultation to find out how we can help you find a solution to your legal needs.

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