Register your custody order with court
Question: My husband and I moved here from Oregon last year with my two children from a previous marriage. I have full custody in Oregon, and my ex-husband has visitation. My kids are going to Oregon to visit their dad, and I want to make sure they come home. I was told by my attorney in Oregon that after six months of residency my children are considered Hawaii residents, and my ex-husband would have to argue for custody here in order to keep the kids. Is this is true, or do I have to request a change of venue for our divorce decree?
Answer: According to Heather Brown, Legal Aid-Maui staff attorney, custody and visitation decisions should be made in the child's home state .
While it's true that Hawaii can now be considered your children's home state, Oregon still has jurisdiction since the initial custody order was made there. You can register your order with the Family Court in Hawaii and have it enforced here if needed, but even though you and the children have relocated, Oregon retains continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over this matter until you and your ex-husband agree to change venue to Hawaii or until he also relocates. Until then, changes to custody/visitation need to be made in Oregon. As stated, though, Hawaii can enforce your order if you register it with the Family Court. Also, your husband has to abide by the custody order as it stands now. This means he can't decide not to return the children to you after his summer visit. If he refuses to return the children, you should notify local authorities.
Q: I want to claim the housing tax credit on my Hawaii state tax return next year, but I need my landlord's General Excise Tax license number in order to claim it. How can I get that?
A: According to Mike Callahan, Legal Aid housing attorney, the Hawaii Landlord-Tenant Code requires a landlord to disclose his/her General Excise Tax license number so tenants can claim the credit. The best thing to do is write your landlord a letter making the request.
Legal Aid Society of Hawaii operates statewide. Practice areas include housing, public benefits, consumer and family law but not criminal law. For information, call 536-4302. Submit questions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by U.S. mail to Legal Aid Q&A, 924 Bethel St., Honolulu, HI 96813.