Wyoming Family Law And Divorce Resource
U.S. Divorce Laws are enacted by each state using their respective legislative process. Once legislation is enacted into law, the divorce courts in Wyoming have the authority to manage the divorce proceedings, including, spousal and child support payments, custodial rights of parents and the division of community property.
Since state laws are repealed and amended frequently, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer before making any important decisions about your marriage. You can also visit the GotTrouble Divorce Resource for a more in-depth understanding of related divorce and family law topics.
As of 2016, all states allow for “no fault” divorce. Yet many courts still factor in the respective parties past behavior when determining the division of community property, debts, custody, support and related issues.
SAME-SEX DIVORCE –UPDATE
On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is a right protected by the US Constitution in all 50 states. It follows, therefore, that the rights and obligations between same-sex divorcing parties are subject to the same dissolution laws of that state. Reference: US Supreme Court Opinion: Obergefell v. Hodges. (For more information visit ProCon.org).
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS AND WHERE TO FILE:
To file for a divorce, the plaintiff needs to have resided in Wyoming for at least 60 days prior to the filing of the complaint. The divorce papers should be filed in the district court of the county in which either party resides.
LEGAL GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE: NO-FAULT
The legal ground for divorce include irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity of either party.
All provisions available in an action for divorce are available for a legal separation.
Wyoming is an equitable distribution state, meaning that when granting a divorce, the court will try to distribute the property in a just and equitable manner. Factors that may be taken into consideration include: 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.
Alimony may be awarded to either spouse. A reasonable amount of alimony may be awarded to one spouse in relation to the other’s ability to pay. The court does not consider marital fault in awarding Wyoming spousal support.
CHILD CUSTODY – BEST INTEREST OF CHILD
Custody may be awarded to either parent and may include any combination of joint, shared, or sole custody to promote the best interests of the children.
When determining the best interests of the child, the following factors may be taken into consideration:
- The quality of the relationship each child has with each parent;
- The ability of each parent to provide adequate care for each child
- The relative competency and fitness of each parent;
- Each parent’s willingness to accept all responsibilities of parenting;
- How the parents and each child can best maintain and strengthen a relationship with each other;
- The ability and willingness of each parent to allow the other to provide care without intrusion;
- Geographic distance between the parents’ residences;
- The current physical and mental ability of each parent to care for each child;
- Any other factors the court deems necessary and relevant.
CHILD CUSTODY – EVIDENCE OF CHILD OR SPOUSAL ABUSE
The evidence of spousal or child abuse is considered per se contrary to the best interests of the child, and the court shall structure visitation to protect the child or spouse from further harm.
Child support is determined by using the “income-shares” model, meaning that the combined incomes of both parents are taken into consideration for setting the level of support. The child support obligation that results shall be divided between the parents in proportion to the net income of each parent. The non-custodial parent’s share of the support obligation is to be paid to the custodial parent through the clerk of the court.
The court may deviate from the child support tables if it finds that the support would be unjust of inappropriate.
- The age of the child;
- The cost of child care;
- Any special health or educational needs of the child;
- The payment of child support for children outside the marriage;
- Cost of visitation transportation;
- The ability of either parent to furnish health insurance through employment benefits;
- The amount of time the child spends with each parent;
- And necessary expenses for the child’s benefit;
- Whether either parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. In such cases, the child support will be computed based on the potential earning capacity of that parent.
ENFORCING WYOMING CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS – FEDERAL OPTION