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M.N. v. A.N. (TRO)
Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals (SDO)
June 20, 2017

Stipulated custody and visitation orders contained in an Order for Protection are temporary orders, under HRS 586-5.5, subject to modification later in the appropriate custody matter (divorce or paternity). A party seeking to vacate an Order for Protection, will not find relief via a claim for breach of contract.

“… even if the parties contemplated visitation rights as being part of the Order for Protection, HRS 586-5.5 clearly establishes that such rights would
be temporary.”

Opinion here: http://www.courts.state.hi.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/CAAP-16-0000585sdo.pdf

Author: Justin L. Sturdivant, Esq.

P.O. v. J.S. (Child Support)
Hawaii Supreme Court, April 6, 2017.

Hawaii law requires that the Family Court (or Office of Child Support Hearings) utilize the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet (“CSGW”), any time that child support is ordered, even when the court finds an exceptional circumstance. This requirement is all over the HRS , and the State means it. An order entered without a filed CSGW can be set aside.

“We also hold that the family court is required by multiple provisions of the Hawaii Revised Statutes to use the Hawaiʻi Child Support Guidelines when it
reviews the merits of a request for adjustment of a monthly support obligation.”

Opinion Here: http://www.courts.state.hi.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/SCWC-15-00000048.pdf

Author: Justin L. Sturdivant, Esq.

It was a privilege to participate with UH Law Students in their family law negotiation exercise this Thursday, October 15, 2015. Thanks to Professor Pang for inviting me to join the panel of experienced practitioners, and thanks to the students and other panel members for the insights they provided. Negotiation models are of keen interest to me, and I appreciate the opportunity to speak on this topic with an interested and engaged group.

In particular, I referred the students to approaches detailed in two books I have found helpful:
1.) “Getting To Yes: Negotiation Agreement Without Giving In” by Roger Fisher and William Uri; and
2.) “So, What’s Your Proposal?” by Bill Eddy.

I have been fortunate to have been invited to participate two years in a row.

UHLawSchool

*Author: Justin L. Sturdivant, Esq.

Family Law Section: Community Service, Social Mixer, & Family Day (Better Bring Your Kids!)

Honolulu Zoo Cleanup
Saturday, June 28, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Potluck to follow, starting 12:00 p.m.

All FLS and HSBA members welcome.

Please join the FLS for its first community service project of 2014. We will help clean up the Honolulu Zoo! Family members and friends are welcome to attend, and will receive free admission to the Zoo; however, children under 16 years old cannot assist directly. Meet at Gate 3 (Mauka end of the Kapahulu Avenue parking lot). Please wear covered shoes.

Potluck to follow. We’ll meet for the Potluck in the grassy area near Waikiki Beach, makai of the Zoo (San Souci Recreational Park). You may sign up to bring supplies, contribute a donation to cover expense ($10 per adult), or just cruise by, no money no problem.

Please contact Brice Ueda (Brice@shigemura.com) or Mari Kishimoto (mkishimoto@hmfamilylaw.com) by June 13, 2014 to sign up and/or for further information.

*Author: Justin L. Sturdivant, Esq.

Q&A: Divorce, Paternity, Support, & Custody

02 May 2014 By There are no tags

I regularly answer questions online related to divorce, paternity, support, and custody, and am glad to offer guidance to pro se parties.

I am fortunate to receive a “Superb” rating from my peers, former clients, and users of Avvo. Thank you for your positive comments.

Law Week: KHON Action Line – Family Law

02 May 2014 By There are no tags

Earlier this week I had the privilege of volunteering for the KHON Action Line, as a participant in Law Week, and took questions from KHON viewers on the subjects of divorce, custody, and support, with regard to both divorce and paternity actions.  This was my third year to participate, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to answer family law questions.  I was joined by FLS members Elizabeth and John, and glad for their company and expertise.  I look forward to joining them again next year.

 

KHON provides a summary of the event here:

Hawaii attorneys to provide free legal help in Action Line Law Week

*Author:  Justin L. Sturdivant, Esq.  2014 Chair of the Family Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association

Our regular monthly FLS meeting will be held Wednesday, May 7, 2014 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm, at the Hawaii Supreme Court.  Our guest speakers will be attorneys Rebecca Copeland and Peter Esser, on the topic “Family Court Appeals.”  This presentation is organized in conjunction with the Appellate Law section, and members from both organizations will be present.  FLS will petition the HSBA for approval of 1.25 VCLE hours. Because the meeting will occur in the Supreme Court building, members should anticipate and allow enough time to pass through security.

Our complete meeting schedule can be viewed at the FLS website:  www.hawaiifamilylawsection.org

*Author:  Justin L. Sturdivant, Esq.  2014 Chair of the Family Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association

Jan. 2014 FLS Newsletter

16 Feb 2014 By There are no tags

I’ve published and circulated the most recent January 2014 Family Law Section (FLS) Newsletter.  If you are an active member of the FLS, you should have received a copy via email, at the beginning of last week; otherwise the Newsletter is available to you at the FLS website: http://www.hawaiifamilylawsection.org/newsletters/.  Contact my office if you need current log-in credentials (available to all current members).

 

*Author:  Justin L. Sturdivant, Esq.  2014 Chair of the Family Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association

Difficult Questions Kids Ask About Divorce

13 Feb 2014 By There are no tags

Difficult Questions Kids Ask About Divorce, by authors Scheider and Zuckerberg, is a handy book that provides insight to typical responses by children experiencing their parent’s divorce. The book is well organized, and clearly written. In particular, I found the section contrasting what kids literally say, with what kids likely mean, to be something I think all divorcing parents would benefit from reading. This book effectively analyses divorce from the perspective of the child. This book is accessible to the lay reader, but would be useful to family court professionals as well.

difficult questions kids ask

 

In particular, I found the following insights helpful:

  • Children can only understand what their age allows.
  • Children have trouble articulating their feelings.
  • Children are too frightened to ask the most painful questions.
  • Parents may be reluctant to listen.
  • When children do ask questions, their feelings may be denied.
  • Children fear their questions will hurt or anger their parents.
  • Some fathers are not practiced in addressing certain problems.
  • Children find solace in magical thinking.

What a child says may not be congruent with what they are actually feeling (fear):

  • “I’m afraid of being alone” becomes, in a divorce, “I’m being left alone.”
  •  “I hope the bad guys go away” becomes, in a divorce, “The bad guys are going to get me.”
  • “If I do something bad, will you still love me?” becomes, in a divorce, “Did I send mommy/daddy away?”
  • “I wish I were smarter, prettier, faster” becomes, in a divorce, “I’m not good enough to make you stay.”

A custody litigant may be inclined to hear only what they want to hear, and children my be reluctant to express their fears and questions, but an observant parent by being aware of their child’s underlying fears, and their developmental limitations, may be able to put their child at ease.

  1. Facilitate conversation;
  2. Listen to Words and More;
  3. Respond with Empathy.

*Author:  Justin L. Sturdivant, Esq.  2014 Chair of the Family Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association

[originally posted 2-16-14, edited 4-3-14]


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