Divorce can be one of the most stressful, expensive, and emotional processes of a lifetime, and this is particularly true when the couple has significant property to divide. Fortunately, with the help of a skilled property division attorney, divorce doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In Hawaii, there are specific laws governing the division of marital property; if you and your spouse cannot agree on a fair division of assets and debts, these laws can help you decide.
At The Sands Law Group APLC, our experienced, knowledgeable Honolulu property division lawyers will guide you through this difficult process in the most economical, and least painful, way possible. We provide exceptional legal services, affordable fees, and a multi-lingual staff who can communicate with clients in five languages: Hebrew, French, Arabic, Spanish, and English. Call The Sands Law Group APLC today for a confidential consultation about your case.
Equitable Distribution Laws in Hawaii
As an equitable distribution state, Hawaii law states that assets acquired both during and before the marriage can be subject to property division laws in a divorce. The division of debts and assets can be agreed upon between the parties through a process called property settlement, when there are no internal disputes over who gets what, or the court can step in and decide how to divide the property for them.
Equitable distribution does not mean 50/50, rather, it dictates what is fair and equitable based on various factors, such as non-monetary contributions, economic misconduct, and financial contributions to the other partner’s education, among others. Deciding what constitutes an equitable distribution can be a complex process, and the help of a highly-skilled divorce lawyer is critical to a favorable outcome.
What Is Considered Marital Property in California and Hawaii?
In Hawaii, property acquired during the marriage is also considered to be marital property. However, Hawaii property division works a bit differently; instead of distributing marital property equally, Hawaii courts will divide marital property equitably, which takes into consideration several factors, including each spouse’s non-economic contributions to the marriage.
Property in Hawaii includes anything that can be bought or sold, or has value, like:
- A house,
- Bank accounts and cash,
- Security deposits on apartments,
- Pension plans,
- 401(k) plans
“Negative” property is also considered during divorce and can include:
- Personal loans
- Credit card balances
- Equity loans
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hawaii a Community Property State?
No, Hawaii is not a community property state. It is an equitable distribution state, which means that property division is based on what is fair and equitable. To determine this, the judge will consider non-monetary contributions, such as a wife who stays home to raise the children full time, and the overall skills and employability of both spouses.
Are Common Law Spouses Entitled to Property in Hawaii?
Although common law marriage is not legally recognized in Hawaii, you may still be entitled to certain property rights following the dissolution of a long-term, live-in relationship. The unofficial term of “palimony” is used to refer to financial sharing and/or support following the termination of a couple that lived together but was not legally married. Although palimony is not guaranteed, you may have a right to property if you can show a clear written or oral agreement of support or the division of property.
Contact Our Knowledgeable Honolulu Property Division Attorneys Today
If you have questions about the division of property in your divorce, the Honolulu property division lawyers at The Sands Law Group APLC can help. We have helped countless clients navigate this process in the way that best aligns with their goals and objectives and ensures that their rights and best interests are protected from the beginning. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your case.