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Either spouse may be awarded alimony, also called maintenance in Hawaii, for a period of time deemed necessary to allow that party to become self-supporting. The alimony helps offset any disparity between the spouses in employability or assets. Alimony is meant to help the recipient adjust to the financial situation that is a result of the divorce.
In Hawaii, support can influence the distribution of property, and it can become a very intricate part of the outcome of any divorce. When spouses are unable to reach an agreement on this issue, the Family Court can order support on a case-by-case basis. Length of the marriage, needs of the spouses, and child custody are all factors the court considers in determining an award of maintenance.
Types of Alimony
In Hawaii the courts may order temporary, short- and long-term alimony. Temporary alimony is granted at the discretion of the court during the divorce proceedings and before the final decree. Short-term alimony may be granted to allow the recipient time to gain necessary skills. Long-term or permanent may be granted to a spouse who has significant needs, usually reserved for lengthy marriages where the receiving spouse is at a disadvantage in the job market.
Factors Considered by the Court
Hawaii courts have wide discretion in considering factors to determine whether alimony is appropriate. According to Hawaii Statutes - Title 580 - Chapters: 47, the Family Court, in ordering maintenance, considers:
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