PMK Partner Maxwell K. Kopper was featured in an article titled “Condominium Annual Meetings Another Casualty of Covid” written by Janis Magin from Pacific Business News. Kopper discussed the challenges this year’s annual condominium meetings are facing due to social gathering restrictions.
In Hawaii, a legal adoption is a lengthy process with several phases. Here are some important things to know before commencing the process.
In Hawaii, you can adopt a child if you:
- Are single or married and at least 18 years old
- Are able to support a child financially and provide a safe home environment
- Can pass a criminal and Child Welfare Services background check
The first step is to gather all required documents, complete the required supplemental forms, and file a packet with the adoption clerk. Some of those documents include: a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, petitioner’s marriage certificate, a death certificate for the child’s mother or father if applicable, and a certified copy of the judgement of termination of parental rights.
A complete list of potential documents and forms to be submitted to the adoption clerk can be found here: www.courts.state.hi.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/1FP1044.pdf.
Adoption clerks often request additional paperwork and modifications to submitted documents, so prospective adoptive parents should build in extra time to provide more information and confirm that already provided forms and paperwork are up to date. If anything is incomplete, the court will not set a hearing.
Once the background check is approved and the adoption packet is complete, the adoption clerk will set a hearing date. At the hearing, the judge will confirm the information provided and speak with the prospective adoptive parents and the child (if he or she is old enough) about the relevant background and the reasons for the adoption. If the adoption is uncontested, the court can then move forward to finalize the process.
For assistance with all facets of adoption, contact Seth Harris, senior associate with the PMK Family Law Division, at Family@HawaiiLegal.com.
In Hawaii, there are certain life events, such as marriage or divorce, in which there is an established procedure to legally change your name. Outside of those specific situations, there is a separate legal process you will need to follow to undertake a name change for yourself or on behalf of a minor.
In the event of marriage, you add your new name to a marriage license, a copy of which can be obtained from the Department of Health. In the case of a divorce, you specify the name change in the divorce decree, which you can obtain from the family court after filing.
To change your name under other circumstances, you must file a petition with the Lt. Governor’s Office. To change a minor’s name, both natural parents or a legal guardian must file a petition with the Lt. Governor’s office. If only one natural parent is filing the petition, the petitioner must obtain the written consent of the other parent.
For detailed information on the process, go to namechange.ehawaii.gov.
For assistance with legal name changes, please contact Seth Harris, an experienced attorney and senior associate with the PMK Family Law Division.