Paternity: Cases involving children of parents not married to each other. If there is uncertainty about a child’s father, that is the first issue addressed in a paternity case through genetic testing. When the father is known, a paternity case will establish custody and timesharing, child support (current and past support for any periods where […]

Restraining Orders

Temporary Restraining Order/Protective Order Cases: TROs are emergency orders issued to protect people from physical harm or extreme psychological abuse. TROs are granted by the Family Court without a hearing and based on the written statement of the person requesting the TRO. The TRO makes it a crime for a person to come within a […]


Guardianship (Minor Children): Cases which give people who are not a child’s parents the responsibility to exercise all the rights of the child’s parents. Guardians make all decisions regarding the child including schooling, health care, religion and general care.  Unlike an adoption, parental rights are not terminated. Guardianship (Incapacitated Adults): Granted to give authority to […]


Adoption: Cases that establish new legal parents for a minor child (or an adult in rare cases). After adoption is granted, the adoptive parents are the child’s parents in the same way as biological parents are parents when a child is born to them. Adoptive parents have all the legal rights and responsibilities as biological […]


Annually there are more than 4,100 divorces on O‘ahu alone. There are many reasons why spouses seek divorce. They may have grown apart. There may be issues relating to domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health or infidelity. There may be insurmountable economic pressures. Whatever the reason, these issues need to be recognized, analyzed and factored […]

Child Protective Services

Child Protective Services Actions: Child Welfare Services, commonly known as Child Protective Services or “CPS” is an agency in the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services that investigates cases of child abuse and neglect.  Child abuse and neglect cases involve children suspected of being physically, sexually or emotionally harmed by the acts or omissions of […]