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Thomas D. Farrell

Divorce and separation Attorney at Honolulu, HI

4.6   11 reviews

Licensed for 42 years

Free consultation

About Thomas

Learn Thomas’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    I have done thousands of divorce cases over the years, many of them involving military families. See our website for more information on divorce.

    27 years, 2,000 cases

  2. Child custody
    Child custody can be an issue in a divorce or paternity case. We also handle child custody jurisdiction and child kidnapping cases. See our website for more information on child custody.

    27 years, 1,500 cases

  3. Child support
    Child support in Hawaii is based on a formula. See our website for more information on child support.

    27 years, 1,500 cases

  4. Alimony
    Alimony, also known as spousal support, is part of a divorce case. See our website for more information on alimony.

    27 years, 1,000 cases

Most clients want to know a little about their lawyer. Here's my story.

I arrived in the Territory of Hawaii in 1959 at the age of three. My dad was an Air Force JAG officer, and after Hawaii we were posted to Washington, D.C., and Sacramento before settling in Honolulu in 1971.

I graduated from Punahou in 1974, the University of Hawaii in 1977, and the University of Santa Clara Law School in 1980. I also hold a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College.

After being admitted to the Hawaii Bar, I was appointed a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Hawaii and spent the next fifteen years in government service. My principal clients were the State's welfare and Medicaid programs, the prisons, and the Child Support Enforcement Agency. My practice included class actions, federal civil rights suits, regulatory enforcement, elder abuse and neglect cases, criminal prosecution, appeals, and legislation. I defended multi-million dollar welfare cases, including one in which I wrote the friend-of-the-court brief for twenty-six states in a successful US Supreme Court appeal. I started the AG's program to bring cases of abuse and neglect of the elderly to Family Court, and drafted the legislation that eventually became Hawaii's Adult Protective Services Act. I shut down unlicensed or substandard day care, retirement homes and youth therapy programs, handled federal court challenges to conditions in our correctional facilities, chased deadbeat dads, and wrote a good deal of the State's child support laws. It was a great job for a young lawyer, and I made the most of it.

In 1995, my good friend Brad Coates offered me a unique opportunity to join the private sector and concentrate in family law. For the next twelve years, I practiced at Coates & Frey, Hawaii's largest family law firm, rising to Senior Counsel. During this time, I handled literally hundreds of divorce cases, and every other type of case known to the Family Court. In 2002, I became the first---and to date, the only---lawyer to be awarded a certificate of specialization in family law by the Hawaii Supreme Court. My certificate was awarded upon completion of a specialty certification program conducted by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, the only organization accredited by the American Bar Association to certify specialists in family law.

Throughout my civilian career in the law, I also served as an Army Reserve officer in various intelligence, command and staff assignments. After the 9/11 attacks, I was called to active duty for about six months here in Hawaii, and my unit was mobilized and deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006. After returning to Hawaii, I retired as a Colonel a few months short of thirty years of commissioned service.

In July 2007, I opened a solo practice, concentrating on divorce and family law. I also handle national security cases involving the revocation or denial of military or industrial security clearances. Over the years, I've been active in various community service organizations, including Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii. I continue to write and speak on issues of defense and national security.

In my free time, I enjoy reading and the beach, and I have a weakness for vintage MG roadsters. I live in Kalihi Valley with my wife of over twenty years and several well-fed cats.

Photos and videos

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Licensed for 42 years
State HI
Status Active
Acquired 1980
Updated 11/22/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Thomas

Thomas D. Farrell, Attorney at Law, LLLC


4.6 / 5.0
  11 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | March 11, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Clear thinker
Tom Farrell helped me take the emotion out of my case and helped me make the right decision regarding my custody case. He is straightforward, honest and balanced. I would highly recommend him if you need a great custody lawyer. I am glad I did.
Posted by Bryan | January 8, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
All Business
I can’t say enough about Mr. Farrell!! If you’re looking for someone to tell you it’s going to be ok, and hold your hand through the process, Tom is not for you! If you’re looking for someone to roll up their sleeves, get the job done, and dominate in the courtroom? Tom Farrell is my first choice... All business! Mr. Farrell is no stranger to family law. The first time he speaks, you know you’re in good hands! Worth EVERY penny!!
Read less
Posted by David | October 19, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
No New Clients but was Referred to Another Great lawyer
I reached out to Thomas Farrell's and requested a consultation. Sadly they were not taking any new clients but he highly recommended another Firm and was able to obtain the other. I like that if they can not help they will point you to another attorney.


  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 400-400 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.7 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Managing Attorney
  • Farrell & Perrault, Family Law Attorneys, LLLC
  • 2007 - Present
  • Senior Counsel
  • Coates & Frey, LLLC
  • 1995 - 2007
  • Deputy Attorney General
  • State of Hawaii
  • 1981 - 1995


  • United States Army War College
  • MA - Masters
  • 2002
  • Santa Clara University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1980
  • University of Hawaii
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1977

Legal Cases

  • Lead Counsel


  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • Family Law Trial Specialist
  • 2002 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Hawaii State Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Chair
  • 2011 - 2012

Languages Spoken

  • English


  • Board Certified
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • 2017
  • Outstanding Volunteer Attorney
  • Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii
  • 2016
  • Hawaii SuperLawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2008
  • Kahiau Award
  • Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii
  • 2007
  • Legion of Merit
  • United States Army
  • 2006
  • Bronze Star Medal
  • United States Army
  • 2006
  • Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Hawaii State Bar Association
  • 2000
  • Pro Bono Service to the Elderly
  • Health & Community Services Council
  • 1988
View all awards


  • Hawaii Divorce Manual
  • Divorce and the Military
  • 2015

Speaking Engagements

  • Divorce Cases from Start to Finish for Paralegals
  • Your Role in Settlement and Trial; Ethical Questions
  • 2016
  • International Families: Money, Children and Long Term Planning
  • Military Familes in the Asia Pacific
  • 2014
  • Estate Planning In Divorce and Remarriage in Hawaii
  • What About the Children?/Special Problems that DIssolution Creates
  • 2001
  • Trusts, Estate Planning and Divorce in Hawaii
  • Ethical Issues/Trusts as Property In Divorce
  • 2000
  • Equitable Distribution in Divorce Settlements: Valuation, Tax and Other Issues
  • Equitable Distribution in Hawaii
  • 1996
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (4)
Military law Attorney | Apr 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Col. Farrell possesses extensive expertise in the area of military law. I completely endorse and thoroughly commend his expertise in this area!"
Family Attorney | Feb 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Feb 23
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Tom Farrell is one of Hawaii's top Family Law litigators. You will not find a more competent trial attorney and passionate advocate. He has a complete knowledge of Family Law, and his knowledge of Military issues is second to none. Hire Tom if you can get him."