Wyoming Divorce Laws
The state of Wyoming has unique divorce laws for people who wish to terminate their marriage.
We are providing this online divorce information to you as an easy divorce reference guide to help you while you are doing your own divorce. This information (and much more) is available inside your personal 3StepDivorce account area in order to help you understand how Wyoming addresses the most important issues in the divorce process and certain elements throughout your divorce forms.
The following overview of Wyoming divorce laws will help you understand the filing procedure and other primary issues concerning your divorce. Please keep in mind that our Wyoming online divorce service and support staff will make the process easy for you from start to finish. We take the difficulty out of doing your own divorce.
Residency Requirements: In order to file for a divorce in Wyoming, you or your spouse must meet the strict residency requirements. These requirements permit the court to have jurisdiction of your case, resulting in allowing you to use their judicial system. These requirements are only a concern for spouses who have recently relocated or plan to relocate in the near future. They are as follows:
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. 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. A divorce may be filed in the district court of the county in which either party resides. (Wyoming Statutes - Title 20 - Chapters: 20-2-104, 20-2-107 and 20-2-108)
No-Fault Grounds: Most uncontested divorce cases are filed according to a "no-fault" ground. We are using the term "no-fault" in a generic fashion by labeling all grounds that do not actually declare a "fault" as "no-fault". In the state of Wyoming the "no-fault" grounds are as follows:
Irreconcilable differences in the marital relationship. (Wyoming Statutes - Title 20 - Chapters: 20-2-104, 20-2-105)
Filing Party Name: The Plaintiff. This is the spouse who is recognized as the initiator of the divorce and is the one who actually files the Complaint for Divorce with the county court.
Non-Filing Party Name: The Defendant. This spouse plays a lesser role in an uncontested divorce versus a contested divorce. He or she will be required to sign and/or respond in a timely fashion to the documents filed by his or her spouse.
Family Law or Domestic Relations Court: In the District Court in and for __________ County, Wyoming. All divorce cases in the state of Wyoming are facilitated through this court for that particular county.
Clerk's Name: All correspondence with a Wyoming clerk of the court should formally address him or her as follows: District Clerk's Office.
Property and Debt Division: Wyoming is considered an "equitable distribution" state. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on how the marital property will be divided, the court shall use a three step process. First, it will determine what property is marital. Second, it will put a value on the marital property. Third, it will divide the marital property in an equitable fashion, which is not necessarily equal, but rather what is considered to be fair.
In granting a divorce, the court shall make such disposition of the property of the parties as appears just and equitable considering the following factors: 1. having regard for the respective merits of the parties and the condition in which they will be left by the divorce 2. the party through whom the property was acquired and the burdens imposed upon the property for the benefit of either party and children. (Wyoming Statutes - Title 20 - Chapters: 20-2-114)
Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony: Determining the amount of spousal support, if any, is not as objective as determining child support. Spousal support, whether permanent or temporary, is typically decided on a case-by-case basis, because it is very likely that unique circumstances and factors regarding the marriage and the property award will play a significant role in allowing the court to arrive at the appropriate amount.
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. (Wyoming Statutes - Title 20 - Chapters: 20-2-114)
Custody and Visitation: Shared or joint child custody has become more and more popular with the Wyoming courts. If you and your spouse request to have joint or shared "legal" custody, it will almost always be granted. As for joint or shared "physical" custody, the court will examine this a bit more closely to determine if it is a realistic choice that would result in an arrangement that is best for the children.
In determining a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child, the court shall consider, but is not limited to, the following factors: (1) The quality of the relationship each child has with each parent; (2) 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; (3) The relative competency and fitness of each parent; (4) 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; (5) How the parents and each child can best maintain and strengthen a relationship with each other; (6) How the parents and each child interact and communicate with each other and how such interaction and communication may be improved; (7) 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; (8) Geographic distance between the parents' residences; (9) The current physical and mental ability of each parent to care for each child; (10) Any other factors the court deems necessary and relevant. (Wyoming Statutes - Title 20 - Chapters: 20-2-104, 20-2-107 and 20-2-201)
Determining Child Support: The basis for determining a monthly support amount is best achieved by referring to the Wyoming child support worksheet. The worksheet utilizes the child support guidelines that are defined by state law. The court will use this same worksheet as a building block for determining the support obligation, that is if you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on this issue.
When the parents can not agree on an appropriate child support obligation the court will apply the state support guidelines by using the support worksheet. If it is deemed appropriate the court may deviate from this support amount by considering the following deviation factors:
In determining whether to deviate from the presumptive child support, the court shall consider the following factors: (1) The age of the child; (2) The cost of necessary child day care; (3) Any special health care and educational needs of the child; (4) The responsibility of either parent for the support of other children, whether court ordered or otherwise; (5) The value of services contributed by either parent; (6) 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; (7) The cost of transportation of the child to and from visitation; (8) The ability of either or both parents to furnish health, dental and vision insurance through employment benefits; (9) The amount of time the child spends with each parent; (10) Any other necessary expenses for the benefit of the child; (11) 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. (Wyoming Statutes - Title 20 - Chapters: 20-2-104, 20-2-107 and 20-2-303 through 20-2-308)
Copyright Notice: These Wyoming divorce laws above are copyrighted by Divorce Source, Inc. This abbreviated and revised version of the state laws has been compiled from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction in any fashion is prohibited. Violation of this copyright notice may result in immediate legal action.
A Simple Divorce Process
Visit Our Support Sites - Divorce Support & Divorce Source
Disclaimer: This is a quality non-lawyer self-help divorce solution. The 3StepDivorce Documentation software and service is not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. Divorce Source, Inc. does not practice law and does not give out legal advice. The software and service allows you to represent yourself in doing your own divorce. If you need or desire legal representation we recommend that you hire a lawyer. Click here to learn more about our service.