Jackie Kong, Esq.

Jackie Kong, Esq.

Hawaii Divorce and Family Law Attorney

Child Support 101: What You Need to Know in Hawaii

February 21, 2024

Navigating the complexities of child support can be a challenging aspect of any separation or divorce. Understanding the basics of child support in Hawaii is crucial for parents to ensure their children’s needs are met while maintaining financial stability. This blog aims to simplify the child support process, explaining how payments are calculated, modified, and enforced in Hawaii. Additionally, we’ll offer advice on navigating disputes and highlight the resources available to help.

Understanding Child Support in Hawaii

Child support is a payment made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to cover the child’s living expenses, ensuring that the child’s financial needs are met. In Hawaii, both parents are legally obligated to support their children, and the amount of child support is determined by state guidelines.

How Payments Are Calculated

Hawaii uses a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet to calculate child support payments. This formula considers several factors, including:

The goal is to ensure that the child receives the same proportion of parental income that they would have if the parents were still together.

Modifying Child Support Orders

Life circumstances change, and so may the need to modify child support orders. In Hawaii, either parent can request a review of the child support order if there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as a job loss, an increase in income, or a change in the child’s needs. To modify an order, you must file a motion with the court, providing evidence of the change in circumstances. The court will then review the case and decide whether to adjust the child support payment.

Enforcement of Child Support

Hawaii takes the enforcement of child support orders seriously. The Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) is responsible for ensuring that child support payments are made on time. If payments are not made, CSEA has several tools at its disposal to enforce the order, including:

Navigating Disputes and Seeking Help

Disputes over child support can be emotionally and financially taxing. It’s essential to approach these disputes with a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities. Mediation can be an effective way to resolve disagreements amicably. Additionally, legal representation can ensure your interests are protected and help navigate the complexities of the legal system.

Resources Available

Several resources are available to help parents understand and manage child support in Hawaii:


Understanding child support in Hawaii is crucial for ensuring that children’s financial needs are adequately met following a separation or divorce. By familiarizing yourself with the process of calculating, modifying, and enforcing child support, you can better navigate these waters. Remember, the primary goal of child support is the well-being of the children involved. If you’re facing challenges related to child support, consider seeking legal advice or utilizing the resources available to ensure your children’s needs are addressed fairly and effectively.

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Jackie Kong, Esq.

Jackie Kong, Esq., a Hawaii Divorce and Family Law Attorney

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