There are several main issues that need to be determined either by agreement of the parties or court decision in order for a divorce to occur: Child Custody (legal and physical custody), Support (child if applicable and/or spousal/alimony) and Property Division (asset and debt division). Ms. Wong Leong is knowledgeable in all areas, including complex child custody issues such as relocation, jurisdiction disputes, and complex property division involving business and real estate.
When parents of children are not married, a civil suit can be brought to establish the biological parents of the child(ren), the parent(s) custodial (physical and legal) rights regarding the children, and the amount of child support to be paid (if any). A paternity case (sometimes referred to as custody case) can be just as complex and stressful as a divorce. Contact Wong Leong Cuccia, LLLC now to determine your rights and the appropriate steps to take in order to protect or invoke your rights. The best time to obtain legal advice is before you need it.
Hawaii State law requires child support to be paid pursuant to guidelines which are revised every four years. In order to determine the amount of child support that should be paid, a specific formula is implemented. Deviating from the amount established by the guidelines requires proof of an exceptional circumstance.
Post-Decree/Judgement Enforcement or Modification
After a court order has been entered, sometimes circumstances arise which call for the order to be modified, amended or enforced. The Family Court has continuing jurisdiction over many parts of a prior Family Court order. If you already have a Family Court order, even from another jurisdiction, contact Ms. Wong Leong now if you would like to modify or enforce the order, or if you have received court documents from another party regarding a prior court order.
Mediation/Collaborative Divorce/Alternative Dispute Resolution
Ms. Wong Leong has been trained in both mediation and collaborative law. Divorce and separation from a loved one does not always have to be litigated in the courtroom. In fact, the best solutions, especially in cases involving children, are often ones that both parties have had a part in creating by agreement. Contact Wong Leong Cuccia, LLLC today if you would like to explore whether your matter can be resolved through an alternative dispute method.
Pre-Marital & Post Marital Agreements
Divorce is something that most couples are not contemplating when they commit to marry. However, when you are contemplating marriage is usually the best time for couples to consider and plan in the event that separation occurs. An agreement that specifies how the most commonly disputed issues in a divorce are resolved can help to avoid stress and expense of future litigation. Call now to find out how cost-effective such an agreement can be!
Parental rights are a constitutional right afforded to biological parents of children. However, there are circumstances which require those rights to be transferred temporarily or permanently to another individual. If you are interested in learning more, contact Wong Leong Cuccia today.
When there is an allegation of abuse or risk of harm to a child, the State of Hawaii, through its Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Services branch, may become involved and remove the child from the home or recommend services for the parents. Wong Leong Cuccia can help you to determine rights, protect them and enforce them.
Effective July 1, 2019 a new law took effect providing tougher penalties for drunk or drugged driving offenders. A first time OUI (no prior convictions in the preceding 10 years) offender is now looking at a mandatory fine of at least $250 but not more than $1000, and/or 72 hours of community service work and/or a minimum of 48 hours jail but not more than 5 days jail. There is also a one year mandatory license revocation.
For a second offense (one prior conviction in the proceeding 10 years) the penalties are now either 240 hours of community service work or at least 5 days in jail but no more than 30 days in jail, a fine of at least $1000 but no more than $3000 and a license revocation between 2-3 years.
Habitual OUI / Felony OUI
The new law (effective July 1, 2019) also lowers the threshold for a habitual OUI (Felony) arrest and charge from three or more OUI convictions in the prior 10 years to two or more convictions in the past 10 years. This is significant as it raises the penalties for a third OUI from 10 to 30 days jail to a possible five-year prison term or five years probation and a fine of between $2,000 to $5,000. In addition, any vehicle owned and operated by the person committing the crime may be subject to forfeiture.
The Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Office (ADLRO) is the Civil Administrative agency that conducts reviews and hearings regarding the administrative revocation of driving privileges of all respondents arrested in the state of Hawaiʻi for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant (OVUII) and habitual OVUII (or DUI). The ADLRO process begins as soon as you are arrested and a revocation of your license can become effective as quickly as 30 days from the date of your arrest. You may be eligible to continue to drive during your revocation period with the installation of an Ignition interlock device.
If you had a valid license that you are unable to renew because of outstanding fines you may be eligible to apply for a restricted license. This would allow you to drive while making payments towards your outstanding fines.
If your license has been revoked for life or for any period of time by the ADLRO you may be eligible to Petition the Courts to get your Instructional Permit and then your Driver’s License with an Ignition Interlock Device. After driving for 5 continuous years with the Ignition Interlock Device and no violations you could then potentially get your driving privileges fully instated.
Traffic Offenses are the most commonly handled by way of citation. This is a ticket given to you by a Police Officer. If it has a court date you must appear at the Court on that date and time otherwise a bench warrant could issue for your arrest. These are typically for traffic crimes cut as Excessive Speeding, Reckless Driving, Inattention, or Driving Without a License.
Petty misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or up to a $1000 fine. These crimes are typically Theft, Shoplifting, Disorderly Conduct, Harassment, Contempt of Court, Failure to appear, and a majority of traffic offenses.
Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by up to a year in jail and/or up to a $2000 fine. When charged with a misdemeanor in Hawaii you have a right to demand a jury trial. This is an important right that should not be waived arbitrarily. Its an important decision that should be thoroughly discussed with your attorney.
Felonies are the most serious criminal offenses. There are three different types of Felonies. A class C Felony is one punishable by up to 5 years in prison and would include charges such as Habitual OUI, Assault 2, and most Drug Possession crimes. A class B Felony is punishable by unto 10 years in prison and would include charges such as Assault 1 and Burglary. A class A Felony is punishable by 20 years to life in prison and as such this classification is reserved for only the most serious crimes.
Abuse of a Family or Household Member (Domestic Violence)
Abuses cases are handled by the Family Court. These types of crimes depending on the nature of the offense can be charged as either Misdemeanors or Felonies. First-time offenders that are charged with misdemeanor Abuse of a family member and must serve a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours.If the violence consists of strangling or restricting the neck and airflow in any way or the violence occurs in front of a child the offense is automatically a Class C felony.
Hawaii’s Environmental Courts have broad jurisdiction, covering water, forests, streams, beaches, air, and mountains, along with terrestrial and marine life. Hawaii’s Environmental Courts began operations on July 1, 2015. Environmental Court judges are designated in both the district and circuit courts throughout Hawaii, for both civil and criminal environmental cases. Numerous criminal offenses are heard in Environmental Court. Examples include: Taking more than one’s share of Ulua and Pāpio (bag limit 20), taking undersized He‘e (octopus, tako, squid) (minimum size 1 pound), entering state property where prohibited (for example, Sacred Falls on Oahu is closed, but many venture into the state park anyway), hunting on private land or taking or harassing a monk seal.
Moloka’i, Lana’i, Hana and Lahaina District Courts
The County of Maui is comprised of five separate District Courts. There are Court Houses on the Islands of Moloka’i and Lana’i. Moloka’i District Court meets on the first, second and fourth Tuesday of the month and Lana’i District Court meets on the third Tuesday of the month. Hana District Court meets on the first Friday of the month. Lahaina Court meets on Mondays and Wednesdays every week. Depending where on the Island you were cited or arrested will determine which Court you will be required to attend. Wailuku District Court is the busiest of all the Courts and meets everyday of the week.