Wyoming State Divorce Laws
DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
ARTICLE 1 – IN GENERAL
20-2-101. Void and voidable marriages defined; annulments.
(a) Marriages contracted in Wyoming are void without any decree of divorce:
(i) When either party has a husband or wife living at the time of contracting the marriage;
(ii) When either party is mentally incompetent at the time of contracting the marriage;
(iii) When the parties stand in the relation to each other of parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, brother and sister of half or whole blood, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, or first cousins, whether either party is illegitimate. This paragraph does not apply to persons not related by consanguinity.
(b) A marriage is voidable if solemnized when either party was under the age of legal consent unless a judge gave consent, if they separated during nonage and did not cohabit together afterwards, or if the consent of one (1) of the parties was obtained by force or fraud and there was no subsequent voluntary cohabitation of the parties.
(c) Either party may file a petition in the district court of the county where the parties or one (1) of them reside, to annul a marriage for reasons stated in subsections (a) and (b) of this section and proceedings shall be held as in the case of a petition for divorce except as otherwise provided. Upon due proof the marriage shall be declared void by a decree of nullity.
(d) An action to annul a marriage on the ground that one of the parties was under the age of legal consent provided by W.S. 20-1-102(a) may be filed by the parent or guardian entitled to the custody of the minor. The marriage may not be annulled on the application of a party who was of the age of legal consent at the time of the marriage nor when it appears that the parties, after they had attained the age of consent, had freely cohabited as man and wife.
(e) An action to annul a marriage on the grounds of mental incompetency may be commenced on behalf of a mentally incompetent person by his guardian or next friend. A mentally incompetent person restored to competency may maintain an action of annulment, but no decree may be granted if the parties freely cohabited as husband and wife after restoration of competency.
(f) An action to annul a marriage on the grounds of physical incapacity may only be maintained by the injured party against the party whose incapacity is alleged and may only be commenced within two (2) years from the solemnization of the marriage.
(g) All decrees of annulment may include provisions for the custody and support of children pursuant to this article, W.S. 20-2-201 through 20-2-204 and 20-2-301 through 20-2-315 and for the division of property pursuant to W.S. 20-2-114.
20-2-102. Petition by spouse for support.
When the husband and wife are living separately, or when they are living together but one (1) spouse does not support the other spouse or children within his means, and no proceeding for divorce is pending, the other spouse or the department of family services may institute a proceeding for support. No less than five (5) days after notice is personally served upon the nonsupporting spouse, the court may hear the petition and grant such order concerning the support of the spouse or children as it might grant were it based on a proceeding for divorce. If the nonsupporting spouse cannot be personally served within this state but has property within the jurisdiction of the court, or debts owing to him, the court may order such constructive service as appears sufficient and proper and may cause an attachment of the property. Upon completion of constructive service the court may grant relief as if personal service was had.
20-2-103. Petition to affirm marriage.
When the validity of any marriage is denied by either party, the other party may file a petition to affirm the marriage. Upon due proof of the validity thereof, it shall be declared valid by a decree of the court which is conclusive upon all persons concerned.
20-2-104. Causes for divorce generally; venue generally.
A divorce may be decreed by the district court of the county in which either party resides on the complaint of the aggrieved party on the grounds of irreconcilable differences in the marital relationship.
20-2-105. Divorce action for insanity; when permitted; conditions to bringing action; liability for support.
(a) A divorce may be granted when either party has become incurably insane and the insane person has been confined in a mental hospital of this state or of another state or territory for at least two (2) years immediately preceding the commencement of the action for divorce.
(b) Upon the filing of a verified complaint showing that a cause of action exists under this section, the district court shall appoint some person to act as guardian of the insane person in the action. The summons and complaint in the action shall be served upon the defendant by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the guardian and to the county attorney of the county in which the action is brought.
(c) The county attorney upon whom the summons and complaint is served shall appear for and defend the defendant in the action. No divorce shall be granted under this section except in the presence of the county attorney.
(d) In any action brought under this section, the district courts possess all the powers relative to the payment of alimony, the distribution of property and the care, custody and maintenance of the children of the parties as in other actions for divorce.
(e) Costs in the action, as well as the actual expenses of the county attorney and the expenses and fees of the guardian, shall be paid by the plaintiff. The expenses of the county attorney and expenses and fees of the guardian shall be fixed and allowed by the court, and the court may make such order as to the payment of fees and expenses as may seem proper.
20-2-106. Judicial separation; procedure; powers of court; defenses.
(a) When circumstances are such that grounds for a divorce exist, the aggrieved party may institute a proceeding by complaint in the same manner as if petitioner were seeking a decree of divorce, but praying instead to be allowed to live separate and apart from the offending party.
(b) No separation by decree entered hereunder shall be grounds for a divorce on the grounds of desertion or two (2) year separation unless those grounds existed at the time of petitioning for judicial separation. A decree of divorce may be granted after the decree of judicial separation is entered upon proper grounds arising thereafter.
(c) The court may make such orders as appear just, including custody of the children, provision for support, disposition of the properties of the parties, alimony, restraint of one (1) or both spouses during litigation and restraint of disposition of property. The court may impose a time limitation on the order or render a perpetual separation. The parties may at any time move the court to be discharged from the order.
(d) All defenses available in an action for divorce are available under this section.
20-2-107. Residential requirements generally for plaintiffs.
(a) No divorce shall be granted unless the plaintiff has resided in this state for sixty (60) days immediately preceding the time of filing the complaint, or the marriage was solemnized in this state and the plaintiff has resided in this state from the time of the marriage until the filing of the complaint.
(b) A married person who at the time of filing a complaint for divorce resides in this state is a resident although his spouse may reside elsewhere.
20-2-108. Action conducted as civil action.
Actions to annul or affirm a marriage, for a divorce or to establish any order regarding the maintenance or custody of children shall be conducted in the same manner as civil actions, and the court may decree costs and enforce its decree as in other cases, except a divorce decree shall not be entered less than twenty (20) days from the date the complaint is filed.
20-2-109. Restraining orders concerning property or pecuniary interests during litigation.
If after filing a complaint for divorce it appears probable to the court that either party is about to do any act that would defeat or render less effective any order which the court might ultimately make concerning property or pecuniary interests, an order shall be made for the prevention thereof and such process issued as the court deems necessary or proper.
20-2-110. Restraint during litigation.
After the filing of a complaint for divorce or to annul a marriage, on the petition of either party the court may prohibit the other party from imposing any restraint upon the petitioner’s personal liberty during the pendency of the action.
20-2-111. Alimony during pendency of action; allowances for prosecution or defense of action; costs.
In every action brought for divorce, the court may require either party to pay any sum necessary to enable the other to carry on or defend the action and for support and the support of the children of the parties during its pendency. The court may decree costs against either party and award execution for the costs, or it may direct costs to be paid out of any property sequestered, in the power of the court, or in the hands of a receiver. The court may also direct payment to either party for such purpose of any sum due and owing from any person.
20-2-112. Examination concerning property interests; enforcement of court orders; temporary custody of children.
(a) In a proceeding for divorce, the court may cause the attendance of either party and compel an answer under oath concerning his property, rights or interests, or money that he may have or money due or to become due to him from others, and make such order thereon as is just and equitable. To enforce its orders concerning alimony, temporary or permanent, or property or pecuniary interests, the court may require security for obedience thereto, or may enforce the orders by attachment, commitment, injunction or by other means.
(b) On the application of either party, the court may make such order concerning the care and custody of the minor children of the parties and their suitable maintenance during the pendency of the action as is proper and necessary and may enforce its order and decree in the manner provided in subsection (a) of this section. The party applying for the order shall notify the court of any known protection or custody orders issued on behalf of the parties from any other court. The court shall consider evidence of spouse abuse or child abuse as being contrary to the best interest of the children. If the court finds that family violence has occurred, the court shall make arrangements for visitation during temporary custody that best protect the children and the abused spouse from further harm.
20-2-113. Repealed By Laws 2000, Ch. 34. 6.
20-2-114. Disposition of property to be equitable; factors; alimony generally.
In granting a divorce, the court shall make such disposition of the property of the parties as appears just and equitable, having regard for the respective merits of the parties and the condition in which they will be left by the divorce, the party through whom the property was acquired and the burdens imposed upon the property for the benefit of either party and children. The court may decree to either party reasonable alimony out of the estate of the other having regard for the other’s ability to pay and may order so much of the other’s real estate or the rents and profits thereof as is necessary be assigned and set out to either party for life, or may decree a specific sum be paid by either party.
20-2-115. Amended and Renumbered as 20-2-314 By Laws 2000, Ch. 34, 2.
20-2-116. Revision of alimony and other allowances.
After a decree for alimony or other allowance for a party or children and after a decree for the appointment of trustees to receive and hold any property for the use of a party or children pursuant to W.S. 20-2-314, the court may from time to time, on the petition of either of the parties, revise and alter the decree respecting the amount of the alimony or allowance or the payment thereof and respecting the appropriation and payment of the principal and income of the property so held in trust and may make any decree respecting any of the matters which the court might have made in the original action.
20-2-117. Amended and Renumbered as 20-1-113 By Laws 2000, Ch. 34, 4.
20-2-118. Amended and Renumbered as 20-2-315 By Laws 2000, Ch. 34, 2.
ARTICLE 2 – CUSTODY AND VISITATION
20-2-201. Disposition and maintenance of children in decree or order; access to records.
(a) In granting a divorce, separation or annulment of a marriage or upon the establishment of paternity pursuant to W.S. 14-2-401 through 14-2-907, the court may make by decree or order any disposition of the children that appears most expedient and in the best interests of the children. In determining the best interests of the child, the court shall consider, but is not limited to, the following factors:
(i) The quality of the relationship each child has with each parent;
(ii) The ability of each parent to provide adequate care for each child throughout each period of responsibility, including arranging for each child’s care by others as needed;
(iii) The relative competency and fitness of each parent;
(iv) Each parent’s willingness to accept all responsibilities of parenting, including a willingness to accept care for each child at specified times and to relinquish care to the other parent at specified times;
(v) How the parents and each child can best maintain and strengthen a relationship with each other;
(vi) How the parents and each child interact and communicate with each other and how such interaction and communication may be improved;
(vii) The ability and willingness of each parent to allow the other to provide care without intrusion, respect the other parent’s rights and responsibilities, including the right to privacy;
(viii) Geographic distance between the parents’ residences;
(ix) The current physical and mental ability of each parent to care for each child;
(x) Any other factors the court deems necessary and relevant.
(b) In any proceeding in which the custody of a child is at issue the court shall not prefer one (1) parent as a custodian solely because of gender.
(c) The court shall consider evidence of spousal abuse or child abuse as being contrary to the best interest of the children. If the court finds that family violence has occurred, the court shall make arrangements for visitation that best protects the children and the abused spouse from further harm.
(d) The court shall order custody in well defined terms to promote understanding and compliance by the parties. Custody shall be crafted to promote the best interests of the children, and may include any combination of joint, shared or sole custody.
(e) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the noncustodial parent shall have the same right of access as the parent awarded custody to any records relating to the child of the parties, including school records, activities, teachers and teachers’ conferences as well as medical and dental treatment providers and mental health records.
(f) At any time the court may require parents to attend appropriate parenting classes, including but not limited to, parenting classes to lessen the effects of divorce on children.
(a) The court may order visitation it deems in the best interests of each child and the court shall:
(i) Order visitation in enough detail to promote understanding and compliance;
(ii) Provide for the allocation of the costs of transporting each child for purposes of visitation;
(iii) Require either parent who plans to change their home city or state of residence, to give written notice thirty (30) days prior to the move, both to the other parent and to the clerk of district court stating the date and destination of the move.
20-2-203. Jurisdiction for enforcement and modification.
(a) A court in this state which enters a custody order under W.S. 20-2-201 has continuing subject matter jurisdiction to enforce or modify the decree concerning the care, custody and visitation of the children as the circumstances of the parents and needs of the child require, subject to the provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. A court which has jurisdiction to enforce or modify an order under this section may decline to exercise its jurisdiction if it finds it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances of the case and that the court which entered the original order is a more appropriate forum and has jurisdiction as set forth in the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
(b) A court in any county in Wyoming in which the child has lived with his parents, a parent or a person acting as a parent for six (6) consecutive months immediately prior to commencement of the custody proceeding may assert subject matter jurisdiction and adjudicate any proceedings involving the child. Periods of temporary absence of any of the named persons shall be included as part of the six (6) month period.
(c) Any party seeking to enforce or modify a custody order pursuant to this section shall attach a certified copy of the custody order to the petition to be enforced or modified. A certified copy of an order entered by a Wyoming court providing for the care, custody or visitation of children may be filed in the office of the clerk of the district court of any county in this state in which either parent resides if neither parent resides in the county of original jurisdiction. The district court for the county in which the order is filed has jurisdiction to enforce the order, provided:
(i) Upon request of the district court for the county in which a certified copy of the order has been filed, the court which originally entered the order shall forward certified copies of the transcript of the court record and pleadings, orders, decrees, records of hearings, social studies and other pertinent documents relating to the original proceeding; and
(ii) The district court for the county in which a certified copy of the order has been filed shall give due consideration to the transcript of the record and all other documents submitted to it in accordance with paragraph (i) of this subsection.
(d) In any proceeding to enforce or modify an order concerning the care, custody and visitation of children, any required notice or pleading shall be served as provided by the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure.
20-2-204. Enforcement and modification.
(a) Either parent may petition to enforce or modify any court order regarding custody and visitation.
(b) A court having jurisdiction under W.S. 20-2-203 may, upon appropriate motion of a party, require a parent to appear before the court and show just cause why the parent should not be held in contempt, upon a showing that the parent has willfully violated an order concerning the care, custody and visitation of the children. In order to enforce and require future compliance with an order the court may find that the parent is in contempt of court, award attorney’s fees, costs and any other relief as the court may deem necessary under the circumstances to the party aggrieved by the violation of an order.
(c) A court having jurisdiction may modify an order concerning the care, custody and visitation of the children if there is a showing by either parent of a material change in circumstances since the entry of the order in question and that the modification would be in the best interests of the children pursuant to W.S. 20-2-201(a). In any proceeding in which a parent seeks to modify an order concerning child custody or visitation, proof of repeated, unreasonable failure by the custodial parent to allow visitation to the other parent in violation of an order may be considered as evidence of a material change of circumstances.
ARTICLE 3 – CHILD SUPPORT
Where necessary and appropriate, the court shall enter orders, whether temporary or permanent, pursuant to and in compliance with this article for the maintenance of children in actions for divorce, annulment, paternity, support, out-of-home placement and any other action for the maintenance or support of children.
This article applies to all orders for the support or maintenance of children.
(a) As used in this article:
(i) “Age of majority” means as defined in W.S. 14-1-101(a) or 14-2-204(a), whichever is applicable;
(ii) “Income” means any form of payment or return in money or in kind to an individual, regardless of source. Income includes, but is not limited to wages, earnings, salary, commission, compensation as an independent contractor, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability and permanent total disability worker’s compensation payments, unemployment compensation, disability, annuity and retirement benefits, and any other payments made by any payor, but shall not include any earnings derived from overtime work unless the court, after considering all overtime earnings derived in the preceding twenty-four (24) month period, determines the overtime earnings can reasonably be expected to continue on a consistent basis. In determining income, all reasonable unreimbursed legitimate business expenses shall be deducted. Means tested sources of income such as Pell grants, aid under the personal opportunities with employment responsibilities (POWER) program, food stamps and supplemental security income (SSI) shall not be considered as income. Gross income also means potential income of parents who are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed;
(iii) “Net income” means income as defined in paragraph (ii) of this subsection less personal income taxes, social security deductions, cost of dependent health care coverage for all dependent children, actual payments being made under preexisting support orders for current support of other children, other court-ordered support obligations currently being paid and mandatory pension deductions. Payments towards child support arrearage shall not be deducted to arrive at net income;
(iv) “This article” means W.S. 20-2-301 through 20-2-315.
20-2-304. Presumptive child support.
(a) Child support shall be expressed in a specific dollar amount. The following child support tables shall be used to determine the total child support obligation considering the combined income of both parents. The appropriate table is based upon the number of children for whom the parents share joint legal responsibility and for whom support is being sought. After the combined net income of both parents is determined it shall be used in the first column of the tables to find the appropriate line from which the total child support obligation of both parents can be computed from the third column. The child support obligation computed from the third column of the tables shall be divided between the parents in proportion to the net income of each. The noncustodial parent’s share of the joint child support obligation shall be paid to the custodial parent through the clerk of court:
(i) One (1) child:
Net Monthly Percentage of
Income of Income
Both Allocated For Base Support Plus
Parents One Child Marginal Percentage
$833.00 26.2 $218.00 + 24.3% over $ 833.00
$2,083.00 25.1 $522.00 + 23.3% over $2,083.00
$2,917.00 24.6 $716.00 + 12.9% over $2,917.00
$3,750.00 22.0 $824.00 + 10.7% over $3,750.00
$5,000.00 19.2 $958.00 + 9.9% over $5,000.00
$6,667.00 16.8 $1,122.00 + 9.4% over $6,667.00
$8,958.00 14.9 $1,338.00 + 5.9% of anything
(ii) Two (2) children:
Net Monthly Percentage of
Income of Income
Both Allocated For Base Support Plus
Parents Two Children Marginal Percentage
$833.00 36.8 $307.00 + 33.8% over $ 833.00
$2,083.00 35.0 $729.00 + 31.9% over $2,083.00
$2,917.00 34.1 $995.00 + 16.4% over $2,917.00
$3,750.00 30.2 $1,131.00 + 13.1% over $3,750.00
$5,000.00 25.9 $1,295.00 + 12.5% over $5,000.00
$6,667.00 22.5 $1,503.00 + 12.5% over $6,667.00
$8,958.00 20.0 $1,790.00 + 7.0% of anything
(iii) Three (3) children:
Net Monthly Percentage of
Income of Income
Both Allocated For Base Support Plus
Parents Three Children Marginal Percentage
$833.00 42.7 $356.00 + 38.7% over $ 833.00
$2,083.00 40.3 $840.00 + 36.4% over $2,083.00
$2,917.00 39.2 $1,144.00 + 16.8% over $2,917.00
$3,750.00 34.2 $1,284.00 + 13.3% over $3,750.00
$5,000.00 29.0 $1,450.00 + 13.7% over $5,000.00
$6,667.00 25.2 $1,677.00 + 12.2% over $6,667.00
$8,958.00 21.9 $1,958.00 + 7.7% of anything
(iv) Four (4) children:
Net Monthly Percentage of
Income of Income
Both Allocated For Base Support Plus
Parents Four Children Marginal Percentage
$833.00 47.6 $ 397.00 + 43.2% over $ 833.00
$2,083.00 45.0 $ 937.00 + 40.6% over $2,083.00
$2,917.00 43.7 $1,275.00 + 18.7% over $2,917.00
$3,750.00 38.2 $1,431.00 + 14.8% over $3,750.00
$5,000.00 32.3 $1,616.00 + 15.2% over $5,000.00
$6,667.00 28.1 $1,870.00 + 13.7% over $6,667.00
$8,958.00 24.4 $2,183.00 + 8.6% of anything
(v) Five (5) or more children:
Net Monthly Percentage of
Income of Income
Both Allocated For Base Support Plus
Parents Five Children Marginal Percentage
$833.00 52.4 $ 436.00 + 47.5% over $ 833.00
$2,083.00 49.5 $1,030.00 + 44.7% over $2,083.00
$2,917.00 48.1 $1,403.00 + 20.6% over $2,917.00
$3,750.00 42.0 $1,575.00 + 16.3% over $3,750.00
$5,000.00 35.6 $1,778.00 + 16.8% over $5,000.00
$6,667.00 30.9 $2,057.00 + 15.0% over $6,667.00
$8,958.00 26.8 $2,402.00 + 9.4% of anything
(b) Where the combined income of the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent is less than eight hundred thirty-three dollars ($833.00), the support obligation of the noncustodial parent shall be twenty-five percent (25%) of net income, but in no case shall the support obligation be less than fifty dollars ($50.00) per month for each family unit in which there are children to whom the noncustodial parent owes a duty of support.
(c) When each parent keeps the children overnight for more than forty percent (40%) of the year and both parents contribute substantially to the expenses of the children in addition to the payment of child support, a joint presumptive support obligation shall be determined by use of the tables. After the joint presumptive child support obligation is derived from column three of the tables, that amount shall be divided between the parents in proportion to the net income of each. The proportionate share of the total obligation of each parent shall then be multiplied by the percentage of time the children spend with the other parent to determine the theoretical support obligation owed to the other parent. The parent owing the greater amount of child support shall pay the difference between the two (2) amounts as the net child support obligation.
(d) When each parent has physical custody of at least one (1) of the children, a joint presumptive support obligation for all of the children shall be determined by use of the tables. The joint presumptive support amount shall be divided by the number of children to determine the presumptive support obligation for each child, which amount shall then be allocated to each parent based upon the number of those children in the physical custody of that parent. That sum shall be multiplied by the percentage that the other parent’s net income bears to the total net income of both parents. The obligations so determined shall then be offset, with the parent owing the larger amount paying the difference between the two (2) amounts to the other parent as a net child support obligation.
(e) If a proportion of a support obligor’s social security or veteran’s benefit is paid directly to the custodian of the obligor’s dependents who are the subject of the child support order, the total amount of the social security or veteran’s benefit, including the amounts paid to the obligor and custodian under the child support order, shall be counted as gross income to the obligor. However, in determining the support amount, the amount of the social security or veteran’s benefit sent directly to the custodian shall be subtracted from the obligor’s share of presumptive support. If the subtraction of the social security or veteran’s benefit sent directly to the custodian results in a negative dollar amount, the support amount shall be set at zero. The child support obligation shall be offset by the amount of the social security or veteran’s benefit sent directly to the custodian, beginning from the time the custodian began receiving the social security or veteran’s benefit. The obligor or the department of family services may apply to the court to receive a credit against arrears for any social security or veteran’s benefits that are paid retroactively to the custodian. For purposes of this subsection, “custodian” means the custodian of dependent children under a child support order and the physical custodian of dependent children who are the subject of a child support order.
(a) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, child support shall abate by one-half (1/2) of the daily support obligation for each day the noncustodial parent has physical custody of the child for whom support is due, provided that the noncustodial parent has custody of the child for fifteen (15) or more consecutive days. For the purposes of computing abatement and determining whether the noncustodial parent has met the consecutive day requirement of this subsection, overnight and weekend visits with the custodial parent during the period for which abatement is claimed shall be disregarded.
(b) The noncustodial parent shall file any claim for child support abatement with the clerk of the court within thirty (30) days after the period for which abatement is claimed and shall pay to the clerk the sum of ten dollars ($10.00). The clerk shall mail a copy of the claim to the custodial parent at the address provided to the clerk by the custodial parent.
(c) The custodial parent shall have the right to object to any claim for abatement made by the noncustodial parent. The custodial parent’s right to object shall be limited solely to issues related to the legitimacy or accuracy of the abatement claim. The custodial parent shall file any objection to the abatement claim with the clerk of court within thirty (30) days of the date the clerk mailed the notice of claim for abatement and shall pay to the clerk a fee of ten dollars ($10.00). The custodial parent may approve the abatement claim prior to the expiration of the thirty (30) day time period for objections by filing notice of immediate approval with the clerk of the court, and no filing fee shall be assessed for filing of such notice of immediate approval. The clerk shall mail a copy of the objection or notice of immediate approval to the noncustodial parent at the address provided to the clerk by that parent.
(d) Claims, objections or responses not timely filed or not accompanied by the requisite fee are barred without further order of the court.
(e) The clerk shall notify the court of claims and objections not barred and of any arrearage owed by the noncustodial parent, and the court shall promptly resolve the differences, with or without a hearing, and prepare and file an appropriate order.
(f) Abatement amounts shall be applied to any current child support due and then to any arrearage balance owed to the custodial parent for past-due child support. If there is no arrearage and no objection was filed within the thirty (30) day period for objections, or if there is no arrearage and a notice of immediate approval was filed prior to the expiration of the thirty (30) day period for objections, the abatement amount shall be reduced from the next scheduled payment of child support.
(g) In all cases in which the custodial parent has filed an objection to a claim for abatement within the thirty (30) day time period, the noncustodial parent shall have the right to respond to the objection. The noncustodial parent’s right to respond to the objection shall be limited solely to issues raised in the objection. The noncustodial parent shall file any response with the clerk of the court within fifteen (15) days of the date the clerk mailed the objection to the noncustodial parent, and no filing fee shall be assessed. The clerk shall mail a copy of the response to the custodial parent at the address provided to the clerk by the custodial parent. The court shall fully consider the abatement claim of the noncustodial parent regardless of whether a response to the objection was filed.
(h) For purposes of this section, “weekend” means any two (2) consecutive days, except if a legal holiday precedes or follows the days constituting a weekend under this section the weekend shall consist of three (3) days.
20-2-306. Revision of presumptive child support.
On or before December 1, 1996, and at least once every four (4) years thereafter, the department of family services shall review the presumptive child support established under this article to ensure that application results in the determination of appropriate child support award amounts.
20-2-307. Presumptive child support to be followed; deviations by court.
(a) The presumptive child support established by W.S. 20-2-304 shall be rebuttably presumed to be the correct amount of child support to be awarded in any proceeding to establish or modify temporary or permanent child support amounts. Every order or decree providing for the support of a child shall set forth the presumptive child support amount and shall state whether the order or decree departs from that amount.
(b) A court may deviate from the presumptive child support established by W.S. 20-2-304 upon a specific finding that the application of the presumptive child support would be unjust or inappropriate in that particular case. In any case where the court has deviated from the presumptive child support, the reasons therefor shall be specifically set forth fully in the order or decree. In determining whether to deviate from the presumptive child support established by W.S. 20-2-304, the court shall consider the following factors:
(i) The age of the child;
(ii) The cost of necessary child day care;
(iii) Any special health care and educational needs of the child;
(iv) The responsibility of either parent for the support of other children, whether court ordered or otherwise;
(v) The value of services contributed by either parent;
(vi) Any expenses reasonably related to the mother’s pregnancy and confinement for that child, if the parents were never married or if the parents were divorced prior to the birth of the child;
(vii) The cost of transportation of the child to and from visitation;
(viii) The ability of either or both parents to furnish health, dental and vision insurance through employment benefits;
(ix) The amount of time the child spends with each parent;
(x) Any other necessary expenses for the benefit of the child;
(xi) Whether either parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. In such case the child support shall be computed based upon the potential earning capacity (imputed income) of the unemployed or underemployed parent. In making that determination the court shall consider:
(A) Prior employment experience and history;
(B) Educational level and whether additional education would make the parent more self-sufficient or significantly increase the parent’s income;
(C) The presence of children of the marriage in the parent’s home and its impact on the earnings of that parent;
(D) Availability of employment for which the parent is qualified;
(E) Prevailing wage rates in the local area;
(F) Special skills or training; and
(G) Whether the parent is realistically able to earn imputed income.
(xii) Whether or not either parent has violated any provision of the divorce decree, including visitation provisions, if deemed relevant by the court; and
(xiii) Other factors deemed relevant by the court.
(c) If the parties fail to agree that the presumptive child support amount under W.S. 20-2-304 is appropriate, the court may order the party seeking to deviate from the presumptive child support amount to pay reasonable attorney fees and court costs to the other party unless, after hearing the evidence and considering the factors contained in subsection (b) of this section, the court deviates from the presumptive support amount.
(d) Agreements regarding child support may be submitted to the court. All such agreements shall be accompanied by a financial affidavit as required by W.S. 20-2-308. The court shall use the presumed child support amounts to review the adequacy of child support agreements negotiated by the parties. If the agreed amount departs from the presumed child support, the parties shall furnish statements of explanation which shall be included with the forms and shall be filed with the court. The court shall review the agreement and inform the parties whether or not additional or corrected information is needed, or that the agreement is approved or disapproved. No agreement which is less than the presumed child support amount shall be approved if means tested sources of income such as aid under the personal opportunities with employment responsibilities (POWER) program, health care benefits under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, food stamps, supplemental security income (SSI) or other similar benefits are being paid on behalf of any of the children.
20-2-308. Financial affidavits required; financial reporting.
(a) No order establishing or modifying a child support obligation shall be entered unless financial affidavits on a form approved by the Wyoming supreme court which fully discloses the financial status of the parties have been filed, or the court has held a hearing and testimony has been received.
(b) Financial affidavits of the parties shall be supported with documentation of both current and past earnings. Suitable documentation of current earnings includes but is not limited to pay stubs, employer statements, or receipts and expenses if self-employed. Documentation of current earnings shall be supplemented with copies of the most recent tax return to provide verification of earnings over a longer period.
(c) The court may require, or the parents may agree, to exchange financial and other appropriate information once a year or less often, by regular mail, for the purpose of analyzing the propriety of modification of court ordered child support.
(d) All financial affidavits and records required by law to be attached to the affidavit shall constitute a confidential file and are subject to inspection by persons other than the parties, their attorneys or the department of family services to the extent necessary to enforce the Child Support Enforcement Act and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act only by court order.
20-2-309. Contents of orders; change of address or employment; income withholding entered; payment.
(a) All orders shall include the:
(i) Names, addresses, dates of birth and places of birth of the parties and all children to whom the order relates;
(ii) Names and addresses of each party’s employer; and
(iii) Repealed By Laws 2004, Chapter 72, 2.
(iv) Right of either party or, when appropriate, the department of family services to petition to enforce an order pursuant to W.S. 20-2-201 through 20-2-204, 20-2-310 and 20-2-311(d).
(b) All child support orders shall be accompanied by a confidential statement that contains the social security numbers of each party and each child. The confidential statement may be inspected by:
(i) The parties and their attorneys;
(ii) The department of family services to the extent necessary to enforce the Child Support Enforcement Act and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act; and
(iii) Other persons or entities, if permitted by court order.
(c) The court shall order each party to notify the clerk of court in writing within fifteen (15) days of any change in address or employment.
(d) In any subsequent enforcement action brought under this chapter in which the parties were previously ordered to provide the clerk of the court with their current residential, mailing and employer’s address, the court, upon sufficient showing to the satisfaction of the court that a diligent effort has been made to ascertain the location of a party, shall deem state due process requirements for notice and service of process to be met upon delivery of written notice to the most recent residential or employer address of that party filed with the clerk of the district court and the state case registry pursuant to the requirements of this section provided:
(i) An affidavit attesting to the diligent effort to locate the party is filed with the court at the time of filing the subsequent enforcement action; and
(ii) Delivery of the written notice to the most recent residential or employer address of the party is made by personal service or by certified mail.
(e) Upon entry of any order for the support of a child under this section the court shall also enter an income withholding order as provided by W.S. 20-6-204.
(f) All child support payments shall be paid to the clerk of the district court.
(g) For purposes of this section, “party” does not include the department of family services.
20-2-310. Enforcement of child support.
(a) In any proceeding to enforce the decree concerning the maintenance of children, any required notice or pleading shall be served as provided by the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure.
(b) A court may, upon appropriate motion, require a parent to appear before the court and show just cause why the parent should not be held in contempt and, upon a showing that the parent has willfully violated a child support order, make such order or orders as the court deems necessary and appropriate.
(c) In any case in which child support has been ordered to be paid to the clerk of the court, any periodic payment or installment under the provisions of an order concerning maintenance is, on the date it is due, a judgment by operation of law.
(d) If an able-bodied obligor is unemployed and otherwise unable to fulfill his court-ordered child support obligation, the court may order the obligor to participate in the personal opportunities with employment responsibilities (POWER) work program administered by the department of workforce services, excluding the benefit portion of that program, without regard to the program eligibility requirements under title 42 or the department rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
(e) The court in order to enforce and require future compliance with an order, may find that the parent is in contempt of court, award attorney fees, costs and any other relief as the court may deem necessary under the circumstances.
20-2-311. Adjustment of child support orders.
(a) Any party, or the department of family services in the case of child support orders being enforced by the department, may petition for a review and adjustment of any child support order that was entered more than six (6) months prior to the petition or which has not been adjusted within six (6) months from the date of filing of the petition for review and adjustment. The petition shall allege that, in applying the presumptive child support established by this article, the support amount will change by twenty percent (20%) or more per month from the amount of the existing order. The court shall require the parents to complete a verified financial statement on forms approved by the Wyoming supreme court, and shall apply the presumptive child support set out in this article in conducting the review and adjustment. If, upon applying the presumptive child support to the circumstances of the parents or child at the time of the review, the court finds that the support amount would change by twenty percent (20%) or more per month from the amount of the existing order, the court shall consider there to be a change of circumstances sufficient to justify the modification of the support order. The provisions of this section do not preclude a party or assignee from bringing an action for modification of a support order, based upon a substantial change of circumstances, at any time. Every three (3) years, upon the request of either parent or, if there is a current assignment of support rights in effect, upon the request of the department, the court, with respect to a support order being enforced under this article and taking into account the best interests of the child involved, shall review and, if appropriate, adjust the order in accordance with the guidelines established pursuant to this article. Any adjustment under the three (3) year cycle shall be made without a requirement for a showing of a change in circumstances. The commencement of aid under the personal opportunities with employment responsibilities (POWER) program, medical benefits under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, food stamps and supplemental security income (SSI) shall be considered a substantial change of circumstances requiring modification of child support.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the parties fail to agree that the presumptive child support amount under W.S. 20-2-304 is appropriate, the court may order the party seeking to deviate from the presumptive child support amount to pay a reasonable attorney fee and court costs to the other party unless, after hearing the evidence and considering the factors contained in W.S. 20-2-307(b), the court deviates from the presumptive support amount.
(c) In addition to the petition authorized under subsection (a) of this section, the court on its own motion, or the department without petitioning the court, may increase monthly child support payments to include amounts for arrearages or may decrease the monthly child support payment in cases of emergencies or if the arrearages are paid. Any action by the department to increase monthly child support payments under this subsection shall allow the obligor a reasonable opportunity to contest the action in accordance with the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act and rules and regulations adopted by the department.
(d) An order for child support is not subject to retroactive modification except:
(i) Upon agreement of the parties; or
(ii) The order may be modified with respect to any period during which a petition for modification is pending, but only from the date notice of that petition was served upon the obligee as provided by the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure, if the obligor or the department is the petitioner, or to the obligor, if the obligee or the department is the petitioner.
20-2-313. Cessation of child support.
(a) An on-going child support obligation terminates when the:
(i) Parents marry or remarry each other;
(ii) Child dies;
(iii) Child is legally emancipated; or
(iv) Child attains the age of majority.
(b) After the remarriage of the parents to each other, the court may eliminate all child support arrearage existing between the parents except those assigned to the state of Wyoming.
20-2-314. Court may appoint trustees to manage amount set aside for children.
Upon application by any party, the court may order any amount set apart for the children to be paid to a trustee or trustees appointed by the court, upon trust to invest the same and to apply the income thereof to the support of the children in such manner as the court directs. This section does not apply to periodic payments designated as child support by a court order.
20-2-315. Court may require security for child support payments.
(a) Upon the issuance of any order or entering of a decree under this chapter which provides for child support payments, or any time thereafter following notice and opportunity for hearing, the court may, for good cause shown, require the obligor to provide security of nonexempt property that the court deems satisfactory to secure payment of child support.
(b) The court, upon petition and following notice and hearing, shall no longer require the order for security if the court determines:
(i) Good cause no longer exists to require security to assure payment upon the obligation to pay child support; and
(ii) There is no overdue support outstanding.
(c) Once the child support obligation has terminated and arrearages satisfied, the security shall be released.