The Cost of Divorce in Hawaii

The Cost of Divorce in Hawaii

Uncontested Divorce Contested Divorce
Attorney Fees $1,500 – $3,000 $5,000 – $30,000
Court Filing Fees $215 $215
Mediation/Arbitration Fees $500 – $1,500 $2,500 – $7,500
Expert Witness Fees N/A $2,000 – $5,000
Additional Costs $0 – $500 $500 – $5,000
Total Cost $2,215 – $5,215 $10,215 – $48,715


According to recent statistics, Hawaii has one of the highest divorce rates in the country. The average cost of divorce in Hawaii ranges from $13,500 to $17,100. This amount includes attorney fees, court costs, mediation expenses (if applicable), and other related expenses.

  • The cost can increase significantly if there are disputes over child custody or property division
  • Couples who opt for collaborative divorce may save money compared to those who choose litigation
  • Uncontested divorces tend to be less expensive than contested ones since they require fewer legal proceedings

In conclusion, getting a divorce in Hawaii can be costly and complex. Couples should weigh their options carefully before proceeding with a decision that could impact their finances for years to come.

Overview of divorce in Hawaii

Once these requirements are met, couples can begin the process of filing for divorce. This typically involves:

  1. Filing a Petition for Dissolution with the appropriate court
  2. Serving the petition on the other spouse (or receiving service if you are the respondent)
  3. Negotiating any disputes over child custody or property division through mediation or other means
  4. If necessary, going to trial and having a judge decide unresolved issues.

It is worth noting that Hawaii is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that couples do not need to prove fault on behalf of their spouse in order to get divorced. However, certain behaviors such as adultery may still impact decisions regarding property division and child custody.

Importance of understanding the cost of divorce

In addition, it is essential to have an accurate estimate of the costs associated with divorce because these expenses can add up quickly. Some common costs that couples should be aware of include:

  • Attorney fees: This will likely be one of the most significant expenses associated with getting divorced.
  • Court filing fees: Couples will need to pay a fee when they file their petition for dissolution and any other necessary documents with the court.
  • Mediation expenses: If disputes arise over child custody or property division, mediation may be necessary, which could incur additional costs.

All in all, understanding the cost of divorce in Hawaii is critical for anyone considering ending their marriage. By being prepared and knowledgeable about these expenses, individuals can make informed decisions that are best for themselves and their families.

Legal Costs of Divorce in Hawaii

In addition to these expenses, there may be additional legal costs if disputes arise over child custody or property division. These disputes can lead to more court appearances, mediation sessions, and negotiations that all come with their own associated costs.

All in all, it’s crucial for couples going through a divorce in Hawaii to work closely with their attorney and keep track of all legal expenses so they can plan accordingly and avoid any unexpected financial surprises down the road.

Filing fees

As of 2021, the filing fees for divorce in Hawaii are as follows:

  • Honolulu: $435
  • Maui: $355
  • Kauai: $335
  • Hawaii (Big Island): $305-$335 depending on district.

Note that these fees may be subject to change and do not include any additional expenses associated with getting divorced, such as attorney’s fees or mediation costs.

Attorney fees

Couples should be aware that some attorneys bill by the hour, while others charge a flat fee for their services. Additionally, some lawyers require a retainer upfront before beginning work on a case. It is essential to discuss these details with potential attorneys before hiring them to ensure that there are no surprises when it comes to billing and fees.

In conclusion, understanding how much an attorney will cost is crucial for anyone getting divorced in Hawaii. By doing research and asking questions upfront, couples can find an attorney who meets their needs while also being mindful of their budget.

Mediation and arbitration costs

The actual cost of these ADR methods will depend on several factors, including how many sessions are necessary and the experience level of the mediator or arbitrator involved. However, in general, couples should expect to spend between $100-$500 per hour on these services.

In conclusion, while mediation and arbitration may seem like more affordable options compared to litigation in court, it is essential that couples understand all associated costs before choosing one of these paths. Consulting with legal professionals beforehand can provide invaluable insight into what expenses might arise during divorce proceedings and which course would be best suited towards reaching an agreement both parties find fair.

Court costs

It’s important to note that these fees are just the beginning of what can be an expensive process. Couples should also consider other expenses associated with getting divorced such as attorney’s fees and mediation costs when budgeting for their split.

Other legal costs

Couples should also keep in mind that if they have children together, there may be ongoing child support and/or alimony payments required post-divorce. It’s essential to factor these potential costs into any financial planning for after the divorce is finalized.

Property Division in Hawaii

It is important to note that “fairly” does not necessarily mean “equally.” In some cases, one spouse may receive a larger share of marital assets if they are determined to have contributed more significantly to the marriage.

In addition, Hawaii is considered a separate property state. This means that any property owned by one spouse before entering into the marriage typically remains their separate property in the event of divorce. However, this can become more complicated if separate funds are commingled with marital funds during the course of the marriage.

Marital property vs. separate property

Another important factor to consider when getting a divorce in Hawaii is the distinction between marital property and separate property. In general, marital property refers to any assets or debts acquired during the marriage, while separate property includes assets that were owned by one spouse prior to getting married.

  • Examples of marital property include joint bank accounts, real estate purchased during the marriage, and retirement benefits earned throughout the course of the marriage.
  • Separate property may include items such as inheritances or gifts received by one spouse before or during the marriage.

In Hawaii, both types of property are subject to division upon divorce. However, it can be challenging to determine which assets should be classified as marital versus separate. Couples going through a divorce are encouraged to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney who can help them navigate this complex process and ensure their rights are protected.

Equitable distribution

It’s also worth noting that Hawaii is one of only a few states that treat inheritances as separate property. This means that if one spouse inherits money or assets during the marriage (or before it), those items will usually not be subject to division during divorce proceedings.

In addition to these considerations about property division, couples should be aware of how child custody works in Hawaii. The state uses what is known as the “best interests” standard when determining custody arrangements. This involves looking at various factors related to both parents’ ability to care for their children and make decisions on their behalf.

Valuation and appraisal of property

One critical aspect of the divorce process in Hawaii is property division. Under Hawaii law, marital assets are divided equitably between spouses during a divorce. This means that each spouse will receive a fair share of the assets accumulated during the marriage.

Valuation and appraisal of property can be a complicated issue, particularly when it comes to high-value or complex assets such as real estate or businesses. It may be necessary to hire outside professionals to determine the value of these assets accurately.

  • Real Estate: A professional appraiser can evaluate the worth of any real estate involved in a divorce settlement
  • Businesses: An accountant or financial expert may need to be brought on board to assess how much a business is worth and how its ownership should be divided up

Having an accurate understanding of asset values is crucial for ensuring that both parties receive their fair share during property division negotiations. Failure to adequately account for all relevant assets could lead to one party receiving less than they are entitled to.

Tax implications of property division

Another important consideration in divorce is the tax implications of property division. In Hawaii, marital assets are typically divided equitably between spouses, meaning that each party receives a fair share of the marital property based on various factors such as income and contribution to the marriage.

When dividing property during a divorce, it is essential to understand how different types of assets may be taxed:

  • Cash: Typically not subject to taxes unless it has appreciated significantly
  • Retirement accounts: If these accounts are divided as part of a divorce settlement, they may be subject to taxes and penalties if not rolled over correctly into an IRA or other qualified account
  • Homes and real estate: These assets can also have significant tax implications depending on whether they are sold or retained by one spouse after the divorce

Couples going through a divorce should consult with their attorneys and financial advisors regarding any potential tax consequences associated with property division. By understanding these implications upfront, individuals can make more informed decisions about how best to divide their assets while minimizing their overall tax burden.

Spousal Support in Hawaii

When deciding on spousal support in Hawaii, judges typically consider both short-term and long-term factors that may affect each spouse’s ability to earn income or maintain their current lifestyle. Some additional factors that may be considered include:

  • The age and health status of each spouse
  • The educational background or job skills of each spouse
  • Whether one spouse sacrificed career opportunities for the benefit of the other during the marriage.

If you are considering filing for divorce in Hawaii and believe that you may be entitled to receive alimony or will be required to pay it, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through this process.

Types of spousal support

The duration and amount of spousal support payments depend on various factors such as income disparity between spouses, length of marriage, age and health status. Ultimately, it’s up to the judge’s discretion when deciding whether or not to award alimony and how much should be paid.

Factors considered when determining spousal support

  • The length of the marriage: Longer marriages are more likely to result in spousal support awards.
  • The earning capacity of each spouse: If one spouse earns significantly less than the other or has limited job prospects, they may be more likely to receive spousal support.
  • The lifestyle established during the marriage: The court will look at the couple’s standard of living during their marriage and attempt to maintain it for both spouses post-divorce.

Other factors that may impact a spousal support decision include each party’s age and health status, any special needs or disabilities either party has, and whether there was any marital misconduct (such as adultery) that led to the divorce. Overall, these factors are considered on a case-by-case basis with no set formula for determining spousal support amounts in Hawaii.

Tax implications of spousal support

Another factor to consider when getting a divorce in Hawaii is the tax implications of spousal support. Spousal support, also known as alimony, is financial assistance paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce.

  • In Hawaii, spousal support payments are generally tax-deductible for the paying spouse and taxable income for the receiving spouse.
  • The IRS has specific rules regarding what qualifies as spousal support and how it should be reported on tax returns.
  • Couples who are negotiating spousal support should consult with a qualified attorney or accountant to ensure that they understand all of their legal and financial obligations.

By taking into account the potential tax implications of spousal support during divorce proceedings, couples can make informed decisions that will help them avoid any unwanted surprises come tax time.

Child Custody and Support in Hawaii

If you are going through a divorce or separation with children involved, it is essential to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate this complex process. They can guide you through negotiations over custody and support, represent you in court if necessary, and ensure that your rights as a parent are protected throughout the proceedings.

Types of custody arrangements

Couples who cannot agree on a custodial arrangement may need to go through mediation or litigation. Ultimately, judges will base their decision on what they believe is in the best interests of the child. It is important for parents to understand how these different types of custodial arrangements work so that they can advocate effectively for themselves and their children during this process.

Factors considered when determining child custody

Additionally, courts may also take into account other specific considerations such as:

  • Whether there has been any history of abuse or neglect by either parent
  • Whether one parent has consistently been more involved in caring for the child than the other
  • Whether one parent has a substance abuse problem or criminal record that could impact their ability to care for their child.

All these factors are crucial when making decisions about who should have legal custody (the right to make major decisions on behalf of a minor) or physical custody (where and with whom a minor lives).

Calculation of child support

In general, the non-custodial parent will be responsible for paying child support to the custodial parent. The amount that must be paid can vary significantly depending on these factors.

It’s worth noting that while Hawaii has guidelines in place to help determine child support payments, it’s not always straightforward. For example:

  • If one parent has an irregular income or works seasonally, this can complicate matters when trying to calculate child support.
  • If there are significant differences in parenting time between both parents, this can impact how much child support must be paid.

In any case, those who are going through a divorce should work with their attorneys and/or mediators to ensure they have an accurate understanding of what they will owe (or receive) in terms of child support payments.

Modifications to child custody and support orders

It’s important to note that modifying child support or custody orders can be just as complicated and expensive as obtaining them initially. Therefore, it’s essential for parents who are considering modifications to work closely with an experienced family law attorney.

Other Costs of Divorce in Hawaii

In addition to these costs, divorce can also have emotional and mental health impacts on both spouses and any children involved. It may be beneficial for individuals to seek therapy or counseling during this time as well.

All things considered, while divorce is never easy, being aware of all associated costs (both financial and emotional) can help individuals make more informed decisions about their future.

Counseling and therapy

Counseling and therapy can also be helpful for couples who have already decided to get divorced. Divorce mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps facilitate negotiations between spouses on key issues such as property division and child custody. Mediation tends to be less expensive than litigation because it involves fewer legal proceedings. It can also lead to more amicable outcomes since both parties are actively involved in finding solutions rather than relying on the court system to make decisions on their behalf.

In summary, while divorce may seem like the only option for some couples experiencing marital difficulties, seeking out counseling or therapy could ultimately save time, money and emotional stress associated with ending a marriage. Furthermore, if divorce cannot be avoided then considering options like mediation could minimize costs significantly compared with litigation.

Moving expenses

In addition, individuals may need to pay for other expenses associated with starting over after a divorce, such as:

  • Counseling or therapy services
  • New clothing for job interviews and other social events
  • Legal fees associated with changing their name back to their maiden name (if applicable).

All of these expenses can add up quickly and should be factored into any decision regarding divorce. It is crucial for individuals to carefully evaluate their financial situation and plan accordingly before proceeding with a divorce.

Living expenses during and after divorce

To minimize financial stress during this time, it is important for individuals going through a divorce in Hawaii to create a budget and stick to it. This might involve cutting back on discretionary spending or finding ways to increase income through additional work or side gigs. Additionally, seeking professional guidance from a financial advisor or credit counselor can help individuals navigate this challenging period with confidence.

Impact on credit score and financial stability

All of these factors can contribute to financial instability and potentially lower credit scores. It is important for individuals going through a divorce to take steps to protect their credit by:

  • Closing joint accounts
  • Establishing separate lines of credit
  • Making sure bills are paid on time

In conclusion, while divorce can be emotionally challenging, it is essential also to consider its potential effects on personal finances. By being proactive about managing debt and establishing good credit habits early on, individuals can work towards building a stable financial future post-divorce.

Strategies for Minimizing the Cost of Divorce in Hawaii

Couples may also consider other cost-saving measures such as:

  • Maintaining open lines of communication with their spouse
  • Gathering financial information and documentation ahead of time
  • Avoiding unnecessary legal battles or disputes over minor issues

In conclusion, while the cost of getting divorced in Hawaii may seem overwhelming at first glance, by utilizing some simple strategies and being mindful about expenses throughout the process, couples can reduce their overall costs significantly.

Collaborative divorce

However, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind. For example:

  • If negotiations fail and the couple ends up going to court anyway, they will likely have incurred additional costs related to their efforts towards collaboration
  • Couples must be willing and able to communicate effectively with each other throughout the process for this option to work successfully.

In conclusion, collaborative divorce may be an attractive option for those seeking a more amicable and potentially less expensive way of ending their marriage. However, it is important that couples carefully evaluate whether this approach makes sense for them based on their individual circumstances.

Mediation and arbitration

Another alternative dispute resolution method is arbitration, which is similar to mediation but has some key differences:

  • An arbitrator makes binding decisions about unresolved issues instead of facilitating discussion like a mediator would do
  • This process tends to be faster and less formal than going to court, but also provides fewer opportunities for appeal or modification of decisions made by the arbitrator

In conclusion, both mediation and arbitration can be effective ways for couples in Hawaii to resolve disputes related to their divorce. It’s important for individuals considering these options to carefully weigh their pros and cons before making a decision.

Negotiation and compromise

One way to help keep the cost of divorce down is through negotiation and compromise. Rather than leaving important decisions up to a judge, couples can work together to reach mutually agreeable solutions regarding child custody, property division, and other key issues. Here are some tips for successful negotiation during a divorce:

  • Stay focused on the big picture: It can be easy to get caught up in small details or petty arguments during a divorce, but it’s important to keep sight of what really matters – creating a fair and equitable agreement that works for both parties.
  • Listen actively: Take the time to truly hear your spouse’s concerns and needs. This will allow you both to work towards solutions that benefit everyone involved.
  • Be willing to compromise: Remember that getting everything you want may not be possible – nor is it always necessary. By being open-minded and flexible, you can find middle ground that leaves everyone feeling satisfied with the outcome.

By keeping these principles in mind throughout the divorce process, couples may be able save money on legal fees while also reducing stress levels associated with an acrimonious split.

Legal assistance and advice

Couples may also wish to consider other forms of support during their divorce process, such as:

  • Therapy or counseling services to help manage emotional stress and navigate relationship issues
  • Financial advisors who can offer guidance on budgeting, investing, and planning for the future after the divorce is finalized.

In any case, seeking professional assistance can be a wise investment that helps ensure a smoother transition into post-divorce life.


In conclusion, divorce can be a difficult and emotionally charged process, but it is important to approach it with a clear understanding of the costs involved. Some key takeaways from this guide include:

  • The cost of divorce in Hawaii can vary widely depending on factors such as whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, and whether there are disputes over child custody or property division.
  • Couples should be prepared for attorney fees, court filing fees, and potentially other expenses such as mediation costs.
  • By being informed about the potential costs associated with divorce in Hawaii, individuals can make smart decisions that protect their financial well-being both during and after the process.

If you are considering getting divorced in Hawaii, it may be helpful to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance on your specific situation. With careful planning and preparation, you can navigate this challenging time with confidence and clarity.

Recap of the cost of divorce in Hawaii

In addition, it’s crucial for couples considering divorce to have a clear understanding of the process and its associated costs. By working with experienced attorneys and taking steps to minimize disputes whenever possible, individuals can help ensure that their divorce is as affordable and stress-free as possible.

Importance of seeking professional guidance

In conclusion, while ending a marriage is never easy, seeking professional guidance can make the process less stressful and more manageable. By working with knowledgeable experts such as attorneys, mediators or financial planners individuals going through a divorce in Hawaii can navigate this challenging time successfully and plan for their future with confidence.

Final thoughts and recommendations.

Divorce can be an emotionally draining and stressful experience, especially when coupled with financial concerns. Here are some final thoughts and recommendations for those navigating the divorce process in Hawaii:

  • Consider alternatives to litigation: Collaborative divorce or mediation may offer a more cost-effective and amicable way to end your marriage.
  • Create a budget: Understanding your current expenses is crucial during the divorce process, as it will help you plan for the future.
  • Hire a qualified attorney: Finding an experienced family law attorney can help ensure that you receive fair treatment during property division negotiations and child custody proceedings.

Ultimately, getting divorced in Hawaii involves many legal considerations, including costs associated with hiring attorneys, court fees, and other related expenses. By taking steps to prepare financially and emotionally for this difficult process, individuals can make informed decisions that put them on solid footing for the future.

FAQ on ‘The Cost of Divorce in Hawaii’

What are the filing fees for a divorce in Hawaii?

The filing fee for a divorce in Hawaii is $215. However, additional fees may be incurred throughout the process depending on various factors.

What are some factors that can increase the cost of divorce in Hawaii?

Some factors that can increase the cost of divorce in Hawaii include hiring an attorney, going to court, property division disputes, child custody battles, and alimony negotiations.

Is it possible to get a cheap divorce in Hawaii?

Yes, it is possible to get a cheap divorce in Hawaii through uncontested divorces or mediation. These options can help couples avoid costly court battles and legal fees.

Are there any resources available to help with the cost of divorce in Hawaii?

Yes, there are several resources available such as Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and online resources like DivorceWriter that provide affordable legal assistance and document preparation services.