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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the process take to obtain a divorce?

The time period involved is dependent upon whether or not the case is contested. If uncontested, the time period could be as short as six weeks and can extend to six months depending upon the jurisdiction involved. If there are contested issues involved, it can be several years before the court may resolve all of the issues involved. The decree of divorce has full effect as soon as the judge signs it.

What is involved in starting the process for a divorce?

The first step would be the filing of a properly executed Complaint for Divorce. The court must have what is called subject-matter jurisdiction that would entail satisfying the requirements of residency or domicile within the state and county dictated by the statute. In Hawaii, this is three to six months. Without this threshold requirement being met the court would not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter and grant a decree of divorce.

Does one have to go to court to obtain a divorce?

A court of law is the only way in which one can obtain a divorce decree, legal separation, nullity, or other form of terminating a marriage. Other than the termination of the marital estate the court also has jurisdiction to resolve the other issues which are intertwined in the existing marriage, which include but are not limited to, custody and visitation rights, division of property of the marital estate, spousal support, child support, restraining orders, and the like. However, if the case is uncontested, the Divorce can be processed by Affidavit and neither party has to appear in court at all.

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