Hawaii Civil Union Divorces


Hawaii enacted its Civil Unions statute (Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 572B) effective January 1, 2012, which allows for same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, with the same rights as married couples.  In conjunction with this, the Hawaii Family Court has issued its forms for Civil Union Divorce Actions (CUDAs) and set up the process for civil union couples to divorce.

Basics requirements for the filing of a civil union divorce

In order to file for a civil union divorce, the following requirements must be met:

  • Residency:  as with traditional divorce, civil union divorces require that the plaintiff (the person filing for the divorce) live in the county (Honolulu, Big Island, Maui, Kauai) in which the complaint for divorce is filed for at least three months, and in the State of Hawaii for at least six months.
  • Civil union:  the parties must be in a valid civil union.
  • Grounds:  the civil union is irretrievably broken.
Issues in a civil union divorce
As in the case of traditional divorces, the ending of the civil union itself is only one aspect of the divorce.  Many other issues remain, among them:
  • child custody/visitation and child support, where one or both of the parties have adopted;
  • alimony;
  • division of assets — bank accounts, securities, cards, real estate, life insurance, retirement, household good, and other property; and
  • division of debts — credit cards, car loans, mortgages, personal loans, and other debt.


Although this is a very new process, we at Doi/Luke have taken the time to familiarize ourselves with the new civil union divorce forms and procedure, and can help you get through your civil union divorce.

Call us at 593-2199 to schedule a free consultation regarding your civil union divorce.

About Gavin K. Doi

Gavin, a founding partner of Doi/Luke, was born and reared in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, graduating from McKinley High School, and receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in Denver, Colorado. Previously, Gavin worked with the Child Support Enforcement Agency and the AmeriCorps Domestic Violence Clinic. An advocate of pro bono legal work, Gavin volunteers time with Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii and the Hawai’i State Bar Association. In 2013, Gavin co-authored the book Child Custody Litigation and Settlements (Aspatore Books/Thomson West), penning the section "Working with Your Client Towards a Successful Child Custody Case." Gavin is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association and the HSBA Family Law Section, and was presented with the 2002 Justice Award by the Hawaii State Bar Association, which honors one lawyer annually for their outstanding contribution to the ideals of justice. The Hawaii Access to Justice Commission honored Gavin in 2012 for his pro bono service to the community. Gavin has extensive experience in divorce, paternity, child custody, child support, restraining orders, and other family law matters, and has a Distinguished rating with Martindale-Hubble®/Lawyers.com, and an Avvo rating of 10 out of 10. He can be e-mailed at: gkdoi@islandlawyers.com .

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