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Family Court’s Divorce Law in Hawaii Celebrates 200th Free Public Education Session

Posted on Nov 16, 2017 in Featured News
Photograph of Attorney William C. Darrah and Mediation Center of the Pacific Executive Director Tracey Wiltgen, who volunteer to conduct Divorce Law seminar eacrh month.

Attorney William C. Darrah and Mediation Center of the Pacific Executive Director Tracey Wiltgen have helped hundreds of families with the Family Court’s free Divorce Law in Hawaii program.

HONOLULU, Hawaii – The Family Court’s Divorce Law in Hawaii program celebrated its 200th public education session on November 9, 2017. The program started 15 years ago as a companion to the Kids First Program, which helps families going through divorce.

Divorce Law in Hawaii presentations are offered to the community at no charge and cover all aspects of the divorce process, including legal requirements, custody, and property division and support. Most importantly, it helps couples understand available options and resolve issues while minimizing the conflicts and emotions that often undermine the successful and timely resolution of divorce issues.

Attorney William C. Darrah, the lead presenter of this program since 2002, explains that “Divorce is one of the hardest things that a human being will ever have to go through. It tests one in ways that one has never been tested before. It presents both great opportunity and great peril. I am proud that Divorce Law in Hawaii continues to provide couples with the tools they need to successfully navigate this extraordinarily challenging process.”

He tells spouses going through divorce that, generally litigation is very expensive and risky.

“No matter how well it is done, I consider litigation as the option of last resort,” said Darrah. “Instead, divorce mediation is an alternative most couples should consider first. I am grateful that the Mediation Center of the Pacific joined our seminar in 2011. Executive Director Tracey Wiltgen gives couples practical guidance on the law and process of divorce, divorce resolution options, and how to resolve differences peacefully.”

“The value of mediation in divorce is that it is the least costly, least stressful way of working out the terms for couples who cannot do it on their own,” explains Wiltgen. “While participants may no longer wish to be married, if they are parents, they will need to make important decisions about their children. Going through the mediation process helps them learn to talk to each other in a different way and create customized agreements that meet the unique needs of their family.”

As of July, Divorce Law in Hawaii has expanded beyond Honolulu to Kapolei where seminars are held twice a month at the Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex. There is no charge to attend the program, and no reservations are necessary.

For more information about the program, or the divorce process in general:

•  On Oahu, contact the Family Court Service Center at (808) 954-8290, or visit the service center at Family Court in Kapolei, or at First Circuit Court, 777 Punchbowl Street in Honolulu.

•  A schedule of upcoming seminar dates, and a video of the Divorce Law in Hawaii Seminar is available on the Hawaii State Judiciary website at:

•  Family Court also offers Kids First, an educational program for parents going through divorce and children aged 6-17. For more information, call (808) 954-8280, or visit

•  For more information about the Mediation Center of the Pacific go to

Disclaimer: The Hawaii State Judiciary does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by the speakers. The speaker’s remarks do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hawaii State Judiciary. The information provided is a general overview of basic legal concepts, and is not intended as legal advice for any specific person or situation.