Hawai'i Family Law Attorney
The Honolulu law office of Blake T. Okimoto practices family law for clients based throughout the island of Oahu. An experienced mediator and litigator who has handled trials and appeals in numerous Hawaii courts, Mr. Okimoto represents both husbands and wives in divorce and dissolution matters, and is equally at home obtaining or defending support and maintenance issues. To learn more about the scope of our expertise in this area of law, please visit our practice area page.
Over Three Decades of Experience
Over the course of a legal career spanning three decades, Mr. Okimoto has represented clients in landmark family law cases in Hawaii and is recognized as one of Hawaii's premier family law attorneys, serving as Past Chair and Director of the Family Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association, acting as a Per Diem District Court Judge of the District Court of the First Circuit, and serving as a frequent speaker at many continuing education programs for attorneys on topics related to family law and ethics.
Providing Long-Term Solutions
We understand that many people come to us in a time of crisis. Our philosophy is to help each client understand that although he or she may be facing a difficult situation now, this time will pass. While in the midst of a divorce or custody dispute it is often tempting to feel anger toward the other party, it is equally important to remember that anger is not the best approach to getting what you want. Family relationships do not disappear simply because a marriage has come to an end - especially when children are involved. For this reason, we work tirelessly to obtain the best results for our clients, focusing not just on finding short-term fixes, but on arriving at satisfying, long-term solutions.
1580 Makaloa Street, Suite 1020, Kapiolani Business Plaza
Honolulu HI 96814
The Honolulu law office of Blake T. Okimoto practices throughout Oahu in all areas of family law, with a particular emphasis on divorce cases. We also handle issues of paternity, adoption, and guardianship.
A petition for dissolution of marriage may be filed by either spouse who has met a six-month residency period in the state. A divorce may be granted when the marriage is "irretrievably broken" or if the parties have lived apart for a specified time (usually two years) and show no signs of reconciling.
If uncontested, a divorce may be granted on the basis of affidavits without the need for a hearing. If one party contests the divorce, a hearing is conducted to determine support, maintenance and property division. For more information on those issues, please see our property division and alimony page.
Child Custody and Support
The court awards custody to either one or both parents according to the best interests of the child. The court may also award visitation rights to parents, siblings, grandparents, or others interested in the child's welfare. Child support is based on a variety of factors, including the earning potential of both parents, the needs of the child, and the existence of any other children or dependants who must be cared for.
Hawaii has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which addresses how custody issues should be handled when the parents are residing in different states. In these cases, a court located in the child's home state, or that has significant connections with the child, will make custody determinations based on UCCJEA provisions.
The Child Support Enforcement Agency is authorized to bring actions to establish paternity, pursuant to the Uniform Parentage Act. Once established, the parent of a child may be ordered to pay child support even if they were never married to the other parent. A mother, child, or putative father may also bring an action to establish or challenge paternity within certain statutory time periods.
"Any proper adult person" may petition the court for leave to adopt a child. The Department of Human Services may also petition for adoption on behalf of the proposed parents when such adoption is the goal of a permanent plan recommended by the department. In some cases, consent is required by a parent or legal guardian before an adoption may occur. A court hearing is generally required.
Guardianship in Hawaii could refer to that of a minor or an adult who is incapacitated. A person can become guardian of a minor either by court appointment or parental appointment, which requires court confirmation following a hearing. A guardian has the duties and powers of a parent in regard to a child's support, care, education, health, and welfare.
Blake T. Okimoto has over three decades of experience practicing family law. Mr. Okimoto's areas of expertise include divorce, child custody, child support, adoption, paternity, and guardianship matters. He is an active member of the American Bar Association and the Hawaii State Bar Association, where he served as Chair from 2006-2007, and where he currently serves as Director of the Family Law Section. Mr. Okimoto also serves as Director of the Disciplinary Board of the Hawaii Supreme Court and as a Per Diem District Court Judge in the District Court of the First Circuit for the State of Hawaii.
Mr. Okimoto earned his Bachelor of Arts from Claremont Men's College and his Juris Doctor from the University of Puget Sound. He was admitted to the Hawaii bar in 1976.
University of Puget Sound