Office of Child Support Hearings
NOTICE TO HEARING PARTICIPANTS
All administrative child support hearings are only conducted by phone (and not in person), pursuant to Sec. 576E-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and Sec. 5-34-15(b), Hawaii Administrative Rules.
The Office of Child Support Hearings (OCSH) understands that this may be inconvenient, but the health, safety, and security of participants is a priority. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact OCSH with the information provided on this site.
The mission of the Office of Child Support Hearings (OCSH) is to resolve child support disputes fairly, impartially, and expeditiously. This is accomplished by child support hearings officers through an administrative hearings process. Orders issued by hearings officers establish, modify, terminate, and enforce child support obligations statewide. Orders may also include child support arrears, debt owed to the State for periods when the child and/or children received benefits from the State, and in certain cases, spousal support arrears. Hearings officers may also confirm, modify, and enforce out-of-state orders brought under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Orders issued by hearings officers are filed with the family court without further review, and have the same force and effect as orders issued by family court judges.
All cases handled by OCSH are initiated through the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA), which is a separate division of the department. If there is a request for hearing in an action initiated by CSEA, the case is set by CSEA for an administrative hearing with OCSH. Hearings are conducted by hearings officers pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statues Chapters 91 and 576E; Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 5, Subtitle 3, Chapter 34; and the Hawaii Child Support Guidelines.
Difference Between OCSH and Court Proceedings
OCSH proceedings are an alternative to the Family Court for child support only. Examples of ways that an OCSH proceeding differs from a Family Court proceeding include:
- OCSH only addresses child support. Issues like custody and visitation can only be addressed in the Family Court.
- OCSH only receives cases processed through the CSEA.
- OCSH does not have to apply rules of evidence and procedure as strictly as the Family Courts.
- It is more common for attorneys to represent parties in Family Court.
- Complex cases should be handled in Family Court as the expedited OCSH hearings process does not have the same procedural rules as the Family Courts.
- OCSH does not charge a fee for services while the Family Courts may have fees.
For additional general information, please see: General Information for Administrative Child Support Hearings .