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Hawaii Child Custody Factors

The court will award custody to either parent or to both parents according to the best interests of the child. The court may also consider frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact of each parent with the child unless the court finds that a parent is unable to act in the best interest of the child.

In Hawaii, with any custody arrangement, the court shall award reasonable visitation to parents, grandparents, siblings, and any person interested in the welfare of the child in the discretion of the court, unless it is shown that rights of visitation are detrimental to the best interests of the child.

The court will consider the following when domestic violence is an issue:

(1) the primary factor the safety and well-being of the child and of the parent who is the victim of family violence;

(2) the perpetrator’s history of causing physical harm, bodily injury, or assault or causing reasonable fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault to another person; and

(3)If a parent is absent or relocates because of an act of family violence by the other parent, the absence or relocation shall not be a factor that weighs against the parent in determining custody or visitation. (Hawaii Statutes - Title 580 - Chapters: 46)

In Hawaii, as with all other states, the court will always be looking out for the best interests of the children. What you want or your spouse wants is not really relevant until the court says it is. Many parents go to custody hearings not realizing that they must portray themselves as the best custodial parent rather pleading to the court that they simply deserve the children. The court would much prefer the parents to decide who should have custody, but if they canít, the court will do it for them. You can also read more about Hawaii child custody in the Hawaii state statutes located at: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/.