This is Law Week. Law Week is a product of the Hawaii Bar Association and it is designed to educate Hawaii residents about different types of law. Residents can also call a phone line to get free law information from volunteer lawyers and those that work in the law career field. In-person law clinics will happen this weekend on Oahu and Kauai.

OahuSat, May 278:00 am -12:00 pmFarmLovers Kakaʻako Farmers’ Market
OahuSun, May 288:00 am-12:00 pmFarmLovers Kailua Farmers’ Market
KauaʻiSat, May 279:30 am -12:30 pmGrove Farm Market (Lihue)

Shelby Ferrer from the Shelby Ferrer Law Offices joined Wake Up 2Day to discuss family law in an effort to familiarize people with what it is and how it works.

-What is family law?

Family Law/Family Court actually encompasses a lot of different types of cases.  Generally speaking, it deals with anything that involves children and domestic relationships.  These are cases like adoptions, guardianships, restraining orders between family members and/or intimate partners.  But, usually when when people are searching for a family law attorney it’s because they need help with a divorce or paternity case (which is custody case where the parties were never married).

-How do you start a case in family court?

To open a new case in family court, you have to file a complaint/petition.  If you have an exisiting case and are seeking to modify something like custody, timesharing, or child support, you have to file a motion.  They have different names depending on the type of case you are opening.   All do the same thing, they let the court and the other party know what you are asking for and why you are asking for those things.

-Where can people find more information?

You can pick up forms from the courthouse at the Ho’okele help centers or go online the judiciary’s website – under the Self-Help tab.  This is a good place to start.  There are instructions, but it can be a little overwhelming and court staff is not allowed to give legal advice.  So, while it’s a good place to start, it’s best to speak to an attorney for advice.  You can consult with private attorneys, but if you cannot afford one, there are programs like the Kapolei Access to Justice Room, Volunteer Legal Services, and Legal Aid who can help for free or a small fee.

Each day during Law Week on Wake Up 2Day shows, lawyers will be covering the following topics: District Court Procedure (Traffic), District Court Procedure (Small Claims Court), Landlord-Tenant, and Probate/Estate Planning.

During Law Week, they will be running the Legal Line on Monday, May 22 to Friday, May 26 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Community members across the State can call Call (808) 537-1868 to speak to a volunteer attorney for free legal information (not advice).

For more information, visit the Hawaii Bar Association’s website.