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Co-Parenting in Hawaii : Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents

Custody and Visitation Rights

When it comes to custody and visitation, Hawaii law (Hawaii Revised Statutes section 571-46) states that both parents have equal access to the custody and visitation rights of their children if they are unable to mutually decide the terms. If either parent has a legal right to the custody and visitation of their children, the court will decide what is in the best interests of the child. This could include joint legal custody, sole legal custody, joint physical custody, or sole physical custody.


If both parents agree to a joint custody arrangement, the court will make sure that there is a written agreement that should contain specifics about parental duties, authorized decision makers, and the rights of parties regarding disputes. This agreement will serve as the legal guidance on both parental rights and obligations. The court can modify any existing child custody and visitation orders that have been agreed to by both parents.


Child Support

Child support in Hawaii is determined by taking into account the income of both parents and the needs of the children. Hawaii law (Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 576D-2) states that the court should also consider factors like the age of the children, whether one parent's income is substantially larger than the other, and any extraordinary medical or education expenses. If the parents are unable to agree on the issue of child support, the court must make its own determination based on the factors described earlier.


Co-Parenting Expenses

Co-parenting expenses are shared financial expenses incurred when involved in a co-parenting arrangement. These expenses can include childcare costs, medical costs, education-related expenses, and legal costs. In Hawaii, co-parenting expenses can be allocated between the parents in a number of ways depending on their individual financial circumstances. The court may also consider the income of both parents in making a decision on how to allocate the expenses.


Parental Rights and Decision-Making

Parental rights in Hawaii are defined by the courts based on what is in the best interests of the child. Hawaii law (Hawaii Revised Statutes section 571-46) allows for both parents to have equal rights to make decisions for their child, as well as to have access to the child's medical and school records. Any disputes regarding parental rights or decision-making must be resolved through the court to provide legal protection for both parents and their child.


Parenting plan

In Hawaii, parenting plans are required by the court. These plans are comprehensive outlines regarding the living arrangements of both parents, decision-making rights, visitation, communication plans, and any other pertinent information. The parenting plan should be agreed to by both parents before the court approves it and the court may amend it as the situation and the needs of the parents change. The court encourages both parents to come to an agreement outside of the courtroom and must approve any plan.



Mediation is a process used by many parents to help them come to an agreement and resolve any disputes outside of the courtroom. The process involves a third-party facilitator who helps the parents come to a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation is a non-binding agreement, meaning the couple can opt-out of any agreement at the mediation session. If a couple is unable to mediate or comes to an agreement, the court will resolve the dispute.



For couples with children who are looking for an alternative to traditional divorce, co-parenting in Hawaii can provide parents with a viable option for raising their children. It is important for parents considering this route to understand the legal implications and the rights of both parents under the law. By knowing and understanding these considerations, co-parents in Hawaii can ensure that their co-parenting arrangement is beneficial to all parties involved.


Fact Check and Resources

In crafting this post, we conducted thorough fact-checking and research, consulting the following sources:

Other Resources


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Co-parenting in Canada


Warning:  This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.

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