If you are getting a divorce from your spouse and have a child, you will need to go over issues concerning child support and custody. You may not be sure who will be obligated to pay support, if anyone, or how much you should expect.
In Hawai‘i, the child support guidelines are straightforward. The Hawai’i Child Support Guidelines must be used when calculating the monthly obligation a parent has. Both parents have a responsibility to support their children and may be asked to pay in accordance with the calculation that is established.
There are sometimes exceptional circumstances that may impact who pays or doesn’t pay support, but in the majority of cases the Guidelines will be followed.
What principles do the Hawai‘i Child Support Guidelines follow?
The Guidelines state that:
- All of a child’s needs have to be met before the parents may keep their additional income
- If there is income remaining after the child’s basic needs are met, the child is allowed to share in that income for a higher standard of living
- Every child’s basic needs will include both the cost of health insurance and child care
- Parents are entitled to have enough income for their own basic needs and to maintain employment
Regardless of income, it is typical for the nonresidential parent to pay child support to the residential parent. However, both parents are expected to provide for their child, so it could be possible for both to have an obligation to pay. By law, there is a minimum amount of support that must be paid monthly, and these payments must continue until the child is at least 18.
Trouble working out your child support and custody issues?
It’s not uncommon for parents to have trouble working through child custody and child support issues. Since the state does use a formulaic method of working out support, it may be helpful to look over the Guidelines and to talk to someone familiar with calculating them to be sure you have a grasp of how much you may or may not pay depending on how often your child will live with you and your current income.