The phrase “establishment of paternity” is the legal process of determining who a child’s biological father is. Upon determining paternity for a child, the process also generally establishes the rights and responsibilities are for each parent regarding the child. A Petition for Paternity can be initiated by either parent or by the state child support enforcement agency (if one parent is receiving support from the state in the form of cash, food or state medical insurance) in an effort to minimize reliance on state-sponsored aid.

If there is a question whether the named father is, in fact the biological father of the child, any party can request a DNA test to confirm parentage. Paternity is established when both parents agree with the test results (or if they don’t and a judge makes a determination based on the evidence). Following that determination, the court can consider issues such as which parent will have custody and how much time each parent will have with the child based on the child’s best interest. Other issues to be resolved include financial decisions, such as child support, as well as who will pay childcare expenses, health insurance premiums, and extracurricular expenses, and who will claim the child for tax purposes.

A judge may also order other support in the form of a life insurance policy or child support going back a period of months or years since the parents stopped living together. If the parents never cohabited, child support can go back to the date of the child’s birth and the custodial parent may also claim birth expenses. As in divorce proceedings, the court determines the amount of child support based on a child support formula based on each parent’s respective gross income and any contributions to child care costs and the costs of the child’s health care insurance.

Seth Harris, an experienced attorney at the PMK family law division, can guide you through the legal paternity process, from answering questions and filing a petition to providing representation in a paternity hearing, seeking favorable settlement or proceeding to a contested trial.

The cost of a divorce case is almost always directly related to the number and complexity of disputed issues. Because an uncontested divorce requires no additional litigation, it can be completed more quickly, sometimes in as little as two weeks, saving on significant costs.

A fixed rate uncontested divorce is the simplest and least expensive method of resolving a divorce and is available in the event that both parties agree on all issues in question and no trial or additional litigation is required. For a set price the attorney drafts the necessary court documents to complete the divorce. PMK is now offering fixed rate uncontested divorce services. Please contact Seth Harris, senior associate of the PMK family law division, to learn more about this service.

An uncontested divorce, when both parties agree on all issues in question, affords both parties two key advantages: cost and speed.

If all issues are settled in advance, an attorney representing one spouse can prepare the initial documents to initiate the case as well as the divorce decree and the supplemental documents and then serve the documents on the other spouse for approval. If after reviewing the documents, both parties agree, they can finalize them and submit them to the judge for review and filing, resulting in a final filed Divorce Decree.

Because an uncontested divorce requires no additional litigation, it can be completed more quickly, sometimes in as little as two weeks. In addition, an attorney’s role is more limited and they are able to focus on the most efficient way of assisting their client complete the divorce documentation, thus able to charge less.

PMK Partner Maxwell K. Kopper spoke with Jane Sugimura on ThinkTech Hawaii’s Condo Insider on October 30, 2020 about condo living during the pandemic. Kopper discussed how Covid-19 restrictions affect condo living including the restricting of amenities, employee HIPA concerns and setting PPE and distancing rules for common areas.

Porter McGuire Kiakona, LLP is pleased to announce that Partner R. Laree McGuire has recently been appointed to the Legislative Action Committee for the Hawaii Branch of Community Associations Institute (CAI) for a second term.  As a member, McGuire will draft legislative testimony, attend legislative hearings on various bills related to community and condominium associations and assist in drafting potential legislation.

McGuire has more than 20 years of expertise in condominium and community association law and co-founded Porter McGuire Kiakona, LLP.  The firm has been in existence since 1981.