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Hawaii Child Support
Child Support in Hawaii

Guidelines set out in court rule follow the Melson Formula. Support is calculated on net income, with allowances for household members.

The court may order either or both parents to provide child support in a just and equitable manner. As described in the official Child Support Guidelines set out in the Hawaii Revised Statutes; Title 576D, Chapter 7 and Title 580, Chapter 47, the court considers:

  • all earnings, income, and resources of the parents;
  • the earning potential, reasonable necessities, and borrowing capacity of the parents;
  • the needs of the child;
  • the full amount of public aid the child would receive without any child support;
  • any other dependants of the parents;
  • incentives for both parents to work;
  • an attempt to balance the standard of living of the parents and avoid placing any parent below poverty level;
  • to avoid any extreme changes in either parent's income; and
  • if a parent with school-age children is able to work and does not, 30 hours of minimum wage income will be added to that parent's presumed income.

Hawaii child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Hawaii child support obligation based on each spouse's income and other relative numeric factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions.

The Melson formula allocates to each parent a poverty self-support reserve. The formula then determines the total remaining combined parental income, the noncustodial parent's percentage thereof, and applies the noncustodial parent's percentage to a standard primary support obligation based on the number of children. Finally, after the primary support obligation is subtracted, the formula assesses the noncustodial parent an additional percentage of his or her remaining income.

Once this amount is determined it is essential to take a look at any appropriate Hawaii child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation. Additional information about Hawaii child support can be found in the Hawaii state statutes.

Calculate Hawaii Child Support

Other Expenses and Deductions

Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. Extraordinary medical costs are a mandatory deduction, and private school is a deviation factor.

Child Support Enforcement

In the state of Hawaii, the State Child Support Enforcement Agency is a division within the Department of the Attorney General. The Hawaii Child Support Enforcement Agency helps locate non-custodial parents, establish paternity, establish, modify, or terminate support orders, and enforcement.

Contact Information & Office Locations

CSEA Offices Walk-in/Telephone Hours:
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Except State Holidays

Customer Service Telephone Toll free number for Molokai, Lanai, and Mainland
(888) 317-9081

On the island of Oahu:
Child Support Enforcement Agency
Kakuhihewa Building
601 Kamokila Boulevard, Suite 251
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707
692-8265

On the island of Hawaii:
Hilo Child Support Enforcement Agency
Waiakea Kai Shopping Plaza
88 Kanoelehua Avenue, Suite #202
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
933-0644

On the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai:
Maui Child Support Enforcement Agency
35 Lunalilo Street, Suite 201
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
243-5241

More information about Hawaii Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.

Emancipation

Child support ends when a child turns 18, but courts may extend it to age 23 if the child is enrolled in an accredited higher education institution.

Deviation Factors

Sometimes unusual circumstances may warrant a departure from the guidelines' computation. These are presented to the Court or Hearings Officer. A party who believes he or she has an unusual circumstance must complete the Exceptional Circumstance Declaration form that can be obtained at the courthouse.

Deviations may be approved if the exceptional circumstances warrant it, pursuant to HRS Sections 576D-7 and 576E-15.

In these cases, the court, or hearings officer, makes oral findings of fact on the record or prepares written findings of fact.

Although it is impossible to predict all exceptional circumstances, the following examples provide some guidance:

  • Payments to the child or the child's other parent that are required by law, particularly medical expenses.
  • Payments covered extraordinary needs of the child or the child's other parent, e.g., special educational and/or housing needs for a physically or emotionally disabled child.
  • Other child support obligations render obligor unable to pay the guideline's level of child support.
  • Extraordinary private education expenses.
  • Ordinarily, the existence of heavy debts will not constitute exceptional circumstances.
  • Total monthly child support obligation is greater than 70 percent of the parent's net income.

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