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

Honolulu Family Law Blog

Traveling with the kids after your divorce

When you were still married, traveling with the kids was no big deal. You and your spouse simply organized the trip, put the kids in the car and went where you pleased.

It's not quite that easy once you're divorced. Suddenly, every vacation you want to take with the kids has to be balanced against a number of issues -- some legal and some not.

Don't let divorce take you by surprise

Could you be headed for a divorce?

If your marriage has been stumbling along for a while now, there's a possibility that nothing more than fear of the unknown and inertia has been holding your spouse in place. Don't let yourself get taken by a surprise announcement that your spouse is on the way out the door. Here are some signs that divorce is imminent:

Who pays for college when the parents are divorced?

Child support obligations don't always end when a child turns 18 years of age -- especially if that child is going to college. Higher education expenses can be a complicated issue when parents are divorced.

Generally speaking, you can negotiate who pays for the kids' college educations with their other parent. Whatever you agree upon can then be included in your support agreement. Alternatively, you can let the court make the decision about college costs.

The problem of false allegations of domestic violence

Well-known actor Johnny Depp took a serious blow to his reputation -- and his career -- following allegations that he had violently abused his former wife, actress Amber Heard.

Now, after enduring the social stigma of being accused of domestic violence for a lengthy period, the actor has filed a $50 million defamation case against Heard. He claims that the actress perpetrated a fraud in order to gain public sympathy in the "Me Too" era and further her career.

How much does a divorce cost in 2019?

It's almost impossible to contemplate a divorce without thinking about the money involved. Divorce is, after all, expensive.

So, just how much can you expect to spend if you get a divorce this year? Honestly, there's no easy answer to that question because there are a lot of different factors involved that can raise (or lower) the cost -- but here are some basics to keep in mind:

Credit card points, airline miles and divorce

In the modern age, divorce can get tricky. The emotional aspects of a divorce are, naturally, difficult -- and dividing tangible goods can always be problematic. But it can really get rough when couples start to try to figure out how to handle digital assets like credit card points and airline miles.

While these issues may not be a concern for some couples, for others they're quite important -- the accrued values can be significant. So, what can you expect to happen?

Divorce, taxes and custody: What parents need to know

The ability to claim your children as your dependents is one of the most significant tax breaks that parents have, especially once you factor in things like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). However, that seemingly straightforward process can become complicated once you're divorced.

Here are some important facts to remember about claiming your children as your dependents after divorce:

Asking for sole custody? Here's why you should reconsider.

Are you seeking sole custody of your child after your divorce? Custody is a big "hot button" issue for a lot of divorcing parents, and it isn't very unusual for one parent to seek to exclude the other from custody for any number of reasons. Before you join their ranks, however, those who have had a front-line view of numerous custody battles say that you need to reconsider.

Here's why many attorneys recommend that you don't press for sole custody of your children without a compelling reason:

  1. Sole custody doesn't mean you can cut the other parent out of your child's life. Absent unusual circumstances, your ex-spouse is still likely to have regular visitation.
  2. You have to surrender all your control over the situation to the court. Once the case goes to court, this could backfire on you, and you could actually lose your custody rights.
  3. You'll face a lot of intrusions. In a custody battle, your entire life can end up under a microscope. You may have to meet with psychologists, family therapists, court-appointed guardians and more.
  4. You may be able to accomplish your real goals much more easily. If you're really concerned about something like the ability to direct your child's education, you may be able to negotiate that right in the custody agreement.
  5. A custody battle is expensive -- and long. A fierce custody battle can wage on for years and drive you into debt. That money may be better spent on your children's education and other needs.
  6. You may be hurting your children. Children crave the love and affection of both of their parents. How are you going to explain your decision to try to cut them off from their other parent?

Marriage, divorce and money in Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places in the nation to live -- and also one of the most expensive. Everything from housing to the price of milk can be more expensive than it is on the mainland.

Does the state's cost of living affect the way that residents marry, live and -- quite often -- divorce? Many people think that it does.

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.

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