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Hawaii Divorce Laws

State laws regulate divorce, including the legal process for obtaining a divorce and rules for what constitutes a legal divorce. State divorce laws may differ on the various grounds for a divorce, residency requirements, and waiting periods, but all states now allow "no-fault" divorces. A no-fault divorce is one in which neither party is held liable for the breakdown of the marriage, sometimes referred to as "irreconcilable differences." The presence of domestic violence or chronic substance abuse usually provides adequate grounds for divorce in all states. Some states also mandate a period of legal separation prior to a final divorce.

This article provides a brief overview of Hawaii divorce laws.

Hawaii Divorce Laws: Legal Requirements at a Glance

Hawaii law has a no-fault stance on divorce, in which the marriage will be terminated as long as the parties have lived separately and apart for two years or have been legally separated. There are no defenses available to a divorce filing.

The main provisions of Hawaii divorce laws are listed in the chart below. See FindLaw's Divorce section for a variety of helpful articles and resources.

Code Section

 § 580-1 et seq. of the Hawaii Revised Statutes

Main Requirements for Divorce in Hawaii

  • The marriage is irretrievably broken;
  • The parties have lived separate and apart under a decree of separation from bed and board entered by any court of competent jurisdiction, the term of separation has expired, and no reconciliation has been effected;
  • The parties have lived separate and apart for a period of two years or more under a decree of separate maintenance entered by any court of competent jurisdiction, and no reconciliation has been effected; or
  • The parties have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of two years or more immediately preceding the application, there is no reasonable likelihood that cohabitation will be resumed, and the court is satisfied that, in the particular circumstances of the case, it would not be harsh and oppressive to the defendant or contrary to the public interest to a divorce on this ground on the complaint of the plaintiff.

Residency Requirements

One party must be domiciled or physically present for a continuous period of at least three (3) months

Waiting Period

The court fixes time after the decree that it is final but not over 1 month

'No-Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Irretrievable breakdown; separation (for at least 2 yrs. or under decree of separation)

Defenses to a Divorce Filing

Recrimination no defense

Other Grounds for Divorce

See "No-Fault"

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation, decisions from higher courts, or other means. You may want to contact a divorce attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Hawaii Divorce Laws: Related Resources

Getting Divorced in Hawaii? Get Legal Help Today

Even in the best of circumstances, a divorce can be emotionally and legally challenging. An attorney will understand the process and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome. The process can be stressful and complicated, which is why it makes sense to have legal representation (especially if the other party does).

Get started today by speaking with a Hawaii divorce attorney near you.

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