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Hawaii Child Support Guidelines

In all states both parents, even if they are divorced and live apart, have a duty to financially support their children. It is presumed that the custodial parent (the parent who lives with the child) pays directly for what the child needs. On the other hand, the non-custodial parent (the parent who doesn't reside with the child) is required help provide for the child by paying child support to the custodial parent.

But how much money is the non-custodial parent required to pay? Family courts in Hawaii use the state's child support guidelines to answer this question. The guidelines substantially reduce the family court's discretion in ordering child support, and helps to standardize support awards.

The family court will generally only deviate from the child support guidelines if the calculated support would exceed 70% of the non-custodial parent's net income, if the non-custodial parent supports additional children, or under other limited circumstances. However, the custodial parent can petition the family court once every three years for the review and adjustment of the child support awarded without having to show a change in circumstance.

Code Section

Hawaii Child Support Guidelines: Basic Calculations of Child Support

How is Child Support Calculated?

The amount of a child support award is calculated based on the parents' income, the child support need, a standard of living adjustment, and child support credits. Family courts use the CGS worksheet in order to conduct basic calculations of child support.

How to Calculate Child Support

In Hawaii, child support is generally calculated by following the steps listed below:

Step 1: Parents' Income

  • Calculate the "combined total monthly net income" available to both parents by adding Parent (A's monthly net income" to Parent (B)'s monthly net income.
  • Next, divide each parent's monthly net income by the combined total monthly net income figure, and multiply by 100 to get a percentage for each parent. This percentage represents how much of the total child support that parent is responsible for.

Step 2: Child Support Need

  • In order to calculate the child's "primary support need," make the three calculations below and then add them together:
    • Multiple the number of children for which child support is being calculated by $385.
    • Calculate the reasonable child care expenses actually paid by a parent and needed to allow the custodial parent to work or to attend vocational training.
    • Calculate the cost for the children's health insurance premiums actually paid, or the cash medical amount.

Step 3: Standard of Living Adjustment (SOLA)

  • Add Parent (A)'s SOLA income to Parent (B)'s SOLA income.
  • Then, subtract the primary child support need (calculated in step 2) from the parents' combined SOLA income to find the parents' "remaining SOLA income.
  • If the primary child support need is greater than the parents' combined SOLA income, then there will not be a standard of living adjustment. If the primary child support need is less than the parents' combined SOLA income, then multiply the parents' remaining SOLA income by 10% for one child (20% for two children, and so forth), in order to obtain the SOLA amount.

Step 4: Child Support Credits and Calculation

  • Calculate the child support amount by adding the primary child support need (calculated in step 2) and the SOLA amount (calculated in step 3).
  • To determine the total support obligation for each parent, multiply the child support calculation by the total support obligation of each parent.
  • Then, credit each parent, respectively, the following applicable expenses that they have paid for:
    • Child care expenses actually paid by the parent
    • Children's health insurance premiums actually paid by the parent
  • Assuming that an Extensive Time-Sharing Worksheet and/or an Exceptional Circumstances Form isn't being used, the figure for each parent after their credits have been deducted indicates that parent's child support obligation.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently and can be complicated. For case specific information about Hawaii's child support guidelines contact a local family law attorney.

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