Coates & Frey, Attorneys at Law, LLLC
Phone: (808) 524-4854

Honolulu Family Law Blog

Parental alienation and its effects on children

What kind of parent purposely ruins the relationship a child has with their other, perfectly loving parent?

It's called parental alienation, and it happens when one parent's hatred for the other one is greater than their love for the child involved. The alienating parent essentially uses the child as a pawn in a game that's designed to hurt the other parent as much as possible. Both mothers and fathers can be on the receiving end of this kind of treatment -- although the child ends up being the biggest victim of all.

Don't let a false claim of domestic violence ruin your life

Could you fall victim to a false claim of domestic violence? It happens more often than many people realize.

When relationships go well, few believe that their partner or spouse would falsely accuse them of anything. When a relationship sours, however, people are often taken by surprise at just how "low" the other party will go. An argument where you tossed a file across the room in frustration or grabbed your spouse's arm to get their attention is suddenly exaggerated in court, amplified by your spouse's anger and imagination. The next thing you know, you're slapped with a protective order.

How do you know if it's time to get divorced?

Is it time to end your marriage, or is there still hope that your marriage can recover from whatever is wrong with it?

Not all marital woes are equivalent. Some can be healed just through better communication, while others may take a lot of work. Some, unfortunately, probably can't be healed at all. Here are some of the signs that therapists say indicate that it's time for a couple to divorce:

Denied visitation? Preserve your relationship and rights

Is your child's other parent denying you appropriate visitation with your children? Despite the fact that it's important for children to maintain a relationship with both their parents whenever possible, custodial parents will sometimes see fit to deprive non-custodial parents of their visitation rights.

Sometimes it is done out of revenge for a real or perceived wrong, sometimes it is done as "punishment" of sorts for failing to meet the custodial parent's demands. In still other instances, it's simply because the custodial parent is overprotective, unwilling to compromise or unwilling to be inconvenienced.

Retirement and child support

Retirement usually means a reduction in your income -- and that can be a serious problem if you still have a child support obligation that's likely to go on for the next few years.

Here are some of the things that you need to consider before you decide if retirement is an option.

The Internet of Things and domestic violence

The Internet of Things (IoT) is more of a reality than ever as lights, security cameras, doors, cars and entire homes are becoming connected and controllable with a flick of a button or a few voice commands. For some women, the IoT is also the latest way that their abusers have found to victimize them further.

Known as "smart abuse," it's the sort of technologically enabled harassment that wouldn't have been possible only a few years ago. However, abusers now have the ability to use web-connected devices like smart speakers and surveillance equipment to manipulate, terrorize and control their victims. Even when a victim leaves an abuser, a clever abuser can find technological ways to continually invade the privacy of the victim.

$700 million art collection up for auction due to divorce

The longer a couple is married, the more they tend to acquire together -- so it's hardly surprising that the billionaire developer Harry Macklowe and his wife had amassed a lot of assets in their 57 years together.

However, those years have come to a bitter end. The couple's divorce has become so acrimonious that they can't find a middle ground on the value of their massive art collection in order to fairly split the assets. The judge in their divorce case -- which has gone to litigation -- has ordered a large part of the collection sold at auction and the proceeds divided.

Are family courts biased against fathers who seek custody?

If you're a father seeking primary custody of your children -- or, at a minimum, even parenting time -- is it possible to get fair treatment in court?

In theory, yes. In practice, however, judges may be prone to letting outmoded ways of thinking affect their decisions. That can include an antiquated view of the role of a father in a child's life and the presumption that women are more suited to raise children than men.

Broaching the topic of divorce with your spouse

Are you trying to bring up the topic of divorce with your spouse?

It might be easier to announce your intentions if you're always fighting with your spouse. However, a lot of couples heading for divorce don't actually fight. Instead, they gradually stop communicating -- effectively freezing each other out. By the time you decide you want a divorce, it may seem difficult to start any kind of meaningful conversation with your spouse -- let alone discuss something that will affect your entire future.

Gifts for someone going through a divorce

Holiday gifts are a reflection of concern for other people and a natural desire to build relationships with friends, family members and even casual acquaintances. Gifts can range from a simple gesture of appreciation (like the tip you give your dog groomer or mailman) to a much deeper message of understanding and kinship toward someone you love.

If you know someone who is going through a divorce this holiday season, there are plenty of gift guides available, but we'd like to offer the following suggestions:

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