Wyoming Divorce Statutes

by Wayne Thomas
Wyoming utilizes an income shares model for calculating child support.

Wyoming utilizes an income shares model for calculating child support.

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The divorce process is determined by the laws in your state. In Wyoming, after meeting a residency requirement, parties may terminate a marriage on the grounds of either irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity. As part of the divorce, marital property will be divided based on fairness, and child support will be calculated according to a percentage of the combined household net income.

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Venue and Residency

In Wyoming, a divorce action may be filed in the county where either you or your spouse lives, provided the residency requirement is met. If you were not married in the state, residency is established by living in Wyoming for the previous 60 days leading up to the filing of the divorce action. As an alternative, you may file at any time if you were married in Wyoming, so long as you lived in the state during the marriage. It is important to note that only the filing spouse needs to prove residency, and the other spouse is not required to reside in the state.

Divorce Grounds

Wyoming offers both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. The fault ground of incurable insanity requires you to prove that your spouse has been confined in a mental hospital for at least two years leading up to the divorce action. The majority of Wyoming divorces, however, proceed under the no-fault ground of irreconcilable differences. This requires the parties to be physically separated, and the filing spouse must attest that the marriage relationship is broken. Unlike other states, Wyoming does not have a specific time period that the parties must be separated before obtaining a no-fault divorce.

Property Division and Spousal Support

When it comes to dividing the marital property, Wyoming is an equitable distribution state, so the division need not be equal between spouses. Instead, the court will make its decision on the basis of fairness to each party. As part of the analysis, the judge will take into account which spouse acquired the property and the probable financial condition of each party following divorce. Judges also have the discretion to order alimony based on a spouse's ability to pay and the capacity of the parties to be self-supporting.

Custody

If a divorcing couple has minor children in Wyoming, the parents may come to an agreement on a parenting plan regarding custody. The judge will generally approve the plan provided it promotes the child's best interests. If the parents cannot agree, the court will create its own plan after considering several factors, including the relationship of the child to each parent, geographic distance from one parent, and the ability of each parent to care for the specific needs of the child.

Child Support

Wyoming utilizes an income shares model for calculating child support. This model combines the monthly net incomes of both parents, which corresponds to a support amount based on the number of children. The noncustodial parent is responsible for the percentage of the support amount in direct proportion to his or her net income to the total household net income. For example, if the couple has one child and the custodial parent makes $1,000 a month and the noncustodial parent makes $2,000 a month, the noncustodial parent would be ordered to pay two-thirds of the total support amount based on a combined household monthly income of $3,000.