Hawaii Child Custody FAQ
Hawaii Child Custody FAQ
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Let Our Honolulu Child Custody Attorneys Answer Your Questions

Navigating child custody can be one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce or separation. At Greg Ryan & Associates, our child custody attorneys understand the complexities involved and are committed to providing you with the clarity and guidance you need. Here are answers to some of the top questions our clients have about child custody in Hawaii.

What are the types of child custody arrangements in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, child custody can be categorized into two main types: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make significant decisions regarding the child’s welfare, including education, healthcare and religious upbringing. Physical custody determines where the child will primarily reside. Both legal and physical custody can be awarded jointly (shared by both parents) or solely to one parent.

To learn more, please see our overview of child custody and support in Hawaii. Our child custody attorneys have extensive experience in creating effective parenting plans that support active, loving participation from both parents.

How do Hawaii courts determine child custody?

The primary consideration for the courts in Hawaii when determining custody is the best interests of the child. Factors that may influence this decision include the child’s age, health, emotional ties to each parent, each parent’s ability to care for the child, and, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity, the child’s wishes.

Our child custody attorneys have extensive experience in matters related to divorce and separation among military members. Please see our overview of child custody for military families to learn more.

Can a custody order be modified in Hawaii?

Yes, custody orders are not set in stone and can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances that affects the best interest of the child. This could include changes in a parent’s job, relocation, changes in the child’s needs or other substantial shifts in the family dynamic.

What is a parenting plan, and do I need one?

A parenting plan is a detailed agreement that outlines how parents will share responsibilities and make decisions regarding their child’s upbringing. In Hawaii, a parenting plan is required when parents are seeking joint custody and can be beneficial even in sole custody arrangements to ensure clear communication and expectations.

How does joint custody work in Hawaii?

Joint custody in Hawaii means that both parents share in the decision-making responsibilities and/or physical custody of the child. The specifics of how this is divided will depend on the family’s circumstances and what is in the child’s best interests. Joint custody requires parents to work collaboratively and maintain open communication regarding their child’s needs.

What if we can’t agree on custody?

If parents cannot reach an agreement on custody, mediation may be recommended to help facilitate a compromise. If mediation is unsuccessful, the dispute will go to court where a judge will make the custody determination based on what is in the best interest of the child. The court may consider various factors and testimonies before making a decision. At Greg Ryan & Associates, we can help you prepare for this process and represent your interests in court to strive for the best possible outcome for you and your child.

How is child custody enforced in Hawaii?

Once a custody order is in place, it is legally binding. If one parent violates the custody order, the other parent can file a motion with the court to enforce the order. The court may then take various actions, including modifying the custody order, scheduling additional hearings or, in some cases, imposing fines or other legal consequences. It is crucial to follow the custody order and seek legal advice if you believe it has been violated.

At Greg Ryan & Associates, we recognize that every family’s situation is unique, and we can provide personalized legal counsel to address your child custody concerns. If you have further questions or need assistance with your child custody case in Hawaii, please contact us to schedule a consultation. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to guide you through every step of the process with compassion and dedicated advocacy.

Contact Our Child Custody Attorneys Today

To arrange a consultation, please call us at 808-796-5613 or contact us by email. We provide caring and results-focused representation for clients throughout Hawaii.