Child Support in Hawaii – Oahu
Honolulu HI Child Support Lawyers
Going through a divorce is going to impact the couple involved in a number of ways, and though it may seem like divorce is for the most part a matter that revolves around two people, there are others who are impacted as well. The children of divorcing couples face a lot of changes, and the emotional aspects of the situation are clear, but there is an economic component as well. Many if not most families retain their quality of life through the shared financial contributions of both parents, and when this dynamic is disrupted, it can result in a decreased standard of living for all concerned, including the children. This is one of the reasons why it is always advisable to seek counseling and do everything possible to try to repair your marriage before you file for a divorce.
All of the above having been said, the way that the state of Hawaii makes sure that the needs of the children of divorcing parents are met is through required child support payments. When the terms of the divorce are either agreed upon by the couple involved or decided by the court, a child custody determination will be made. It is important to recognize that there are two different types of custody: physical custody, and legal custody. Physical custody of course refers to who will be the primary residential caregiver of the child or children involved. Legal custody refers to the authority to make decisions on behalf of the children, including things like religious affiliations and what schools to attend. Though there is such a thing as shared custody, one parent is usually going to have primary physical custody for the good of the child or children so that they can settle into a routine. The non-custodial parent is required to pay child support payments to the custodial parent that are intended to be used to help meet the financial needs of the children.
Title 580, Chapter 47 of the Hawaii Statutes covers the issue of child support, and it states that a Percentage of Income formula is to be used to determine the amount of child support that must be paid by the non-custodial parent. Based on the number of children involved, their needs, and the financial profile of the parents, the guidelines will call for a certain percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income to be paid for child support. It is worthwhile to point out that this determination is not final; as the needs of the child or children increase, and the financial capabilities of the parents change over time, the child support order can be modified either voluntarily or by the order of the court.
If you would like more information about the laws surrounding child support, simply contact a Honolulu HI family lawyer for a free consultation.