Hawaii Custody Agreements and Parenting Plans – The Laws in the Hawaii Revised Statutes

Written by on April 3, 2019

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Title 31 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes contain the laws and statutes about family matters. This section of law includes child custody. Parents in the state who are involved in a custody situation should learn all of the necessary information that is found in these statutes–especially the information that applies when making a parenting plan. Here is a brief overview of some of the laws that affect the making of a Hawaii custody agreement.

1. The requirement of a parenting plan. Chapter 571-46.5 contains a law that requires parents in a custody situation to make a parenting plan. The plan may be general with the parents figuring out the details informally, or the plan can be detailed. A detailed plan can include information about: a residential schedule, holiday planning, parental responsibility and decision making, relocation, right of first refusal, etc. The parents can work together and file a plan jointly, or each parent can file an individual plan of what they want to happen.

2. Joint custody. Chapter 571-46.1 contains the information about joint custody. In Hawaii, if either parent petitions for joint custody, the court may award it. The court will award joint custody if it is in the best interest of the child. Joint custody means that parents share legal custody and they work out a custody schedule that lets both parents be involved with the children. It doesn’t have to mean that the parents each get equal time with the children.

3. Best interest of the child. Chapter 571-46 states that the policy of Hawaii is to make all custody decisions with the best interest of the child in mind. Any custody agreement that the court accepts must be made according to the child’s needs and for the child’s best welfare. Some of the factors that the state considers that impacts the best interest of the child include: the overall quality of the parent-child relationship; any history of abuse by either parent; the history of caregiving or parenting by each parent; each parents’ cooperate in developing a parenting plan that meets the child’s needs, interests, and schedule; the physical, safety, educational and emotional needs of the child; the child’s relationship with a sibling; the mental health of each parent; etc.


Source by Peter Worthington

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