Child Support

Child Support

Top Questions Regarding Child Support in Hawaii

How is child support calculated?

Child support is calculated using the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet ("CSGW"). You can calculate child support on your own by visiting the Hawaii State Judiciary website (www.courts.state.hi.us) and on the top left portion of the homepage you will type the words on Search bar: "child support worksheet" then click on the first item entitled, "2010 Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. This will be opened in Microsoft Excel.

What variables affect the child support amount?

The child support amount is affected by the following variables:

  • Number of children for whom child support is being calculated
  • Number of visitation overnights
  • Each parent's monthly gross income from all sources
  • Monthly dollar difference between health insurance premium that covers employee parent only vs. health insurance premium that covers employee parent and child(ren) – i.e., dollar difference between single vs. family health insurance premiums (Note: This monthly dollar difference is plugged into the CSGW)
  • Child care expense incurred to enable parent(s) to work – e.g., A+/after school care expenses and school vacation period care expenses (e.g., YMCA summer fun expenses and other school vacation period care expenses)

Is child support payable by high income earners calculated differently?

Yes. Child support payable by high income earners is calculated based on the child(ren)'s reasonable needs at the appropriate standard of living, which may/may not be equal to the child support amount calculated using the CSGW.

How is child support paid?

Child support is paid by income assignment (garnishment) of child support payer's income or child support is paid by direct payment from child support payer to child support recipient.

When is child support subject to modification?

Child support is subject to modification whenever there is a substantial and material change in the financial circumstances of the child support payer, child support recipient, and/or child(ren).

When is child support subject to termination?

Child support is subject to termination upon the last to occur of: child attaining age 18; child graduating from high school; or, child discontinuing high school. If child attends post-high school institution full-time then child support continues and is subject to termination upon the first to occur of: child no longer attending post-high school institution full-time; child graduating from post–high school institution; or, child attaining age 23 (even if child is still attending post-high school institution full-time).

Note: Often if child attends post-high school educational institution (e.g., college) on the mainland and parents share college expenses including room and board and reasonable allowance, then child support terminates upon child leaving for/enrolling in college on mainland.

How can child support arrears be collected?

Child support arrears can be collected by filing a motion in Family Court or by initiating an action with the Child Support Enforcement Agency.

In addition to child support, how do children benefit from their parents' financial contributions?

In addition to child support, children can benefit from their parents' financial contributions in the following ways:

  • Payment of health insurance premiums;
  • Contribution to uncovered health care expenses;
  • Contribution to extracurricular activities expenses;
  • Contribution to private education (private school) expenses;
  • Contribution to college expenses; and,
  • Payment of life insurance premiums to secure payment of child support and payment of child expenses if parent(s) die.

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