PART I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

580-1 Jurisdiction; hearing. (a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in matters of annulment, divorce, and separation, subject to section 603-37 as to change of venue, and subject also to appeal according to law, is conferred upon the family court of the circuit in which the applicant has been domiciled or has been physically present for a continuous period of at least three months next preceding the application therefor, except as provided in subsection (b). No absolute divorce from the bond of matrimony shall be granted for any cause unless either party to the marriage has been domiciled or has been physically present in the State for a continuous period of at least six months next preceding the application therefor, except as provided in subsection (b). A person who may be residing on any military or federal base, installation, or reservation within the State or who may be present in the State under military orders shall not thereby be prohibited from meeting the requirements of this section. The family court of each circuit shall have jurisdiction over all proceedings relating to the annulment, divorce, and separation of civil unions entered into in this State or unions recognized as civil unions in this State in the same manner as marriages.

(b) An action for annulment, divorce, or separation may be commenced where neither party to the marriage meets the domicile or physical presence requirements of subsection (a) at the time the action is commenced, if:

(1) The marriage was solemnized under chapter 572 in this State; and

(2) Neither party to the marriage is able to pursue an action for annulment, divorce, or separation where the parties are domiciled because both parties are domiciled in a jurisdiction or jurisdictions that do not recognize their marriage.

There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a jurisdiction will not maintain an action for annulment, divorce, or separation if the jurisdiction or jurisdictions where the parties are domiciled do not recognize the parties' marriage.

(c) Actions brought under subsection (b) shall be commenced in the circuit where the marriage was solemnized and the law of this State shall govern. Jurisdiction over actions brought under subsection (b) shall be limited to decrees granting annulment, divorce, or separation that address the status or dissolution of the marriage alone; provided that if both parties to the marriage consent to the family court's personal jurisdiction or if jurisdiction otherwise exists by law, the family court shall adjudicate child custody, spousal support, child support, property division, or other matters related to the annulment, divorce, or separation. [L 1870, c 16, 2; am L 1878, c 26, 1; am L 1903, c 22, 4 and c 33, 1; am L 1919, c 172, 1; RL 1925, 2966; am L 1927, c 126, 1; RL 1935, 4461; am L 1935, c 94, 1; RL 1945, 12211; am L 1949, c 53, 29; RL 1955, 324-21; am L 1957, c 72, 3; am L 1961, c 58, 1; am L 1965, c 76, 1; am L 1967, c 76, 2; HRS 580-1; am L 1973, c 211, 5(a); am L 1977, c 173, 1; am L 2011, c 1, 6; am L 2012, c 267, 15; am L Sp 2013 2d, c 1, 10]

 

Law Journals and Reviews

 

"Physically present" construed. Haw Supp, III HBJ, no. 3, at 20 (1965).

For discussion of development of new approach to family problems, see Divorce, Law and Psychology. VII HBJ, no. 3, at 73 (1970).

 

Case Notes

 

One-year residence requirement does not violate equal protection clause. 512 F.2d 430 (1975).

Averments as to jurisdiction held sufficiently set forth. 7 H. 342 (1888). Failure to allege that parties last lived together as husband and wife within said circuit may result in dismissal of suit for lack of jurisdiction. 9 H. 405 (1894). Suit cannot be brought in circuit other than that in which the parties last lived together. 19 H. 243 (1908). Decree where court has jurisdiction cannot be attacked collaterally. 23 H. 451, 455 (1916). Reference to a master: power of divorce judge; taking of evidence; review of master's fee. 44 H. 442, 355 P.2d 33 (1960). Jurisdiction, custody of children. 49 H. 20, 29-31, 407 P.2d 885 (1965).

Public cannot, but persons of immature years may, be excluded from courtroom. 22 H. 425, 428 (1915).

"Residence" equivalent to "domicile". 23 H. 376, 377 (1916); 37 H. 223 (1945); 38 H. 261 (1948); 41 H. 37 (1955).

History of divorce courts discussed; not common law courts. 24 H. 239 (1918).

Domicile of soldier or sailor. 35 H. 461 (1940); 37 H. 223 (1945).

To acquire domicile. 40 H. 625 (1954).

The one-year residence requirement for divorce does not violate the equal protection clause. 53 H. 302, 492 P.2d 939 (1972).

Domicile, evidence and continuation of. 54 H. 60, 502 P.2d 380 (1972).

Appeal from interlocutory order requires allowance of court. 56 H. 662, 548 P.2d 251 (1976).

Though wife had not been domiciled in Hawaii for the continuous periods required under this section, as long as wife was domiciled in Hawaii at the time wife filed for divorce, i.e., wife was physically present in Hawaii with the intention of remaining indefinitely, family court had subject matter jurisdiction to entertain the divorce action; family court was then authorized to grant the divorce decree dissolving the marriage as long as wife was domiciled in Hawaii for a continuous period of six months prior to entry of the divorce decree. 94 H. 471 (App.), 16 P.3d 876 (2000).

Relevant statutes, rules, and precedent did not permit wife to directly attack in circuit court the validity of the property and distribution part of the divorce decree; circuit court did not have subject matter jurisdiction under 603-21.5 to do what wife must have had done to obtain the relief wife sought; pursuant to 580-47 and this section, only the family court could have granted that relief. 101 H. 370 (App.), 68 P.3d 644 (2003).

Sections 572-1, 580-21, and this section must be read together; only the family court can declare void a marriage obtained by force, duress, or fraud, and it cannot do so where there has been subsequent cohabitation. 112 H. 131 (App.), 144 P.3d 579 (2006).

Cited: 3 H. 300, 301 (1871); 20 H. 633, 635 (1911); 24 H. 29, 34 (1917); 30 H. 620, 621 (1928).

 

 

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