Partner R. Laree McGuire was a featured panelist at the July 14th Hawaii Chapter Community Association Institute (CAI) 2022 Legislative Update Webinar.  McGuire addressed HB 2280 providing for the growth of personal agriculture by owners residing in a Planned Community Association under certain conditions; SB 2685 regarding cumulative voting for the election and removal of directors within Planned Community Associations; and SB 2002 regarding reasonable accommodations for disabled persons needing assistance animals in the context of real estate transactions.

Going through a divorce is stressful enough for a family without navigating complicated fee schedules from an attorney. To simplify the process and remove some of the pressure, PMK is now offering fixed-rate services for uncontested divorces. Please contact Seth Harris, senior associate of the PMK family law division at family@HawaiiLegal.com to learn more about this service. For more information about uncontested divorces, go to https://www.hawaiilegal.com/advantages-of-an-uncontested-divorce/. 

What happens if you no longer wish to be married but you believe you shouldn’t have to go through a divorce? In such a case, you may wish to pursue an annulment.  

The difference between an annulment and a divorce is that a divorce cancels a legally valid marriage while an annulment is a court declaration that confirms a marriage never actually existed.  

Because the grounds for annulments are very limited, Hawaii family court judges rarely grant them. If you seek an annulment and it is denied, you can still file for divorce if you are legally married.  

Here are the cases in which the court will allow annulments, as long as one or both spouses show legal proof:  

  • Blood relations – If you and your spouse are related (cousins or closer) even if you were aware of the blood ties before the marriage.  
  • Age – If you or your spouse were not legally old enough to be married, which in the state of Hawaii is 18, or as young as 16 with written consent from both sets of parents.  
  •  Already married – If one or both has a living spouse that they are still married to.  
  • Mental capacity – If one party lacks the mental capacity to consent, such as if they were under the influence of alcohol, or if they didn’t have the mental capacity to consent, such as due to an ongoing health condition.   
  • Physical incapacity – If one or both of the parties is impotent, unable to have children, or physically incapable of getting married.  
  • Force, duress, or fraud – If you are forced to go through with marriage while under duress, or if your spouse misrepresented an essential aspect of your marriage. In this case, an annulment is granted only if you didn’t live with your spouse before you were married. 
  • Disease – If your spouse was afflicted with a “loathsome disease” at the time of your marriage and hid it from you.  

Here are the two major benefits of an annulment versus a divorce:   

  • Each spouse leaves the marriage with any money or possessions that they brought into it without litigation. However, there are specific provisions for child custody 
  • If your spouse was already married and you didn’t know about it, you may be entitled to a financial allowance. 

Do you need help deciding whether you should seek an annulment or a divorce? Seth Harris, a senior associate at the PMK family law division, is available to assist you with annulment, divorce, and any other family law needs. For more information, go to www.hawaiilegal.com/practice-areas/family-law-2/.

PMK partnered with HUGS to sponsor a Mom’s Night Out on June 7th.  HUGS is an organization that helps strengthen Hawaii’s families and improve their quality of life as they face the emotional and financial hardships of caring for a seriously ill child.

The moms remotely joined traveling Beach Workout Instructor Des Adams who led a thoughtful and customized virtual workout for HUGS Moms from a beach in Makaha. This workout was appropriate for moms at all levels in a minimal amount of space and focused on incorporating healthy “systems” into everyday life to set and reach personal goals. Foodland gift cards were provided to moms for healthy “refueling” after future workouts.

To learn more about HUGS, visit https://www.hugshawaii.org/

Partner R. Laree McGuire was a featured panelist at the Hawaii Council of Community Associations (HCCA) May 26th Webinar – Debt Collection and Foreclosure. McGuire discussed the new laws passed during the 2022 Legislative Session affecting condominium and homeowners associations.