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Wyoming Divorce Facts
When going through a divorce in in Wyoming, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of Wyoming should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of Wyoming Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified Wyoming Divorce Professional.
Wyoming ranks in the top five for the highest divorce rates in the United States.
The plaintiff, the spouse initiating the divorce process, must reside in Wyoming for the 60 days immediately preceding the filing, or the marriage must have happened in Wyoming, with the plaintiff living there since.
Grounds for divorce in Wyoming can be either fault or no-fault. No-fault divorce is due to irreconcilable differences; no proof of fault is required. Fault divorce can be initiated by a party whose spouse has been declared permanently insane by two doctors competent in psychiatry and has been confined in a mental institution for at least three years immediately preceding the petition for divorce.
Wyoming is an "equitable distribution state," which means if the parties cannot mutually agree, marital property is divided according to what the court deems to be fair. Under Wyoming law, equitable is not the same as equal. Factors that determine equity include the respective merits of each spouse, the ensuing financial position of the respective spouse as a result of the divorce, and property ownership.
The judge, on a case-by-case basis, determines spousal support for the benefit of either spouse.
If the parties cannot agree on issues regarding the custody of minor children, the court determines custody according to the best interests of the child. It may not make custody decisions based solely on gender.
Determination of the best interests of the child is at the discretion of the court. Considerations include the child's respective relationship with each parent, the ability of each parent to provide adequate custodial care, the competency of each parent, geographic distance between the two parents, and the willingness of each parent to respect the other parent's rights and responsibilities, including rights of privacy.
If the parties cannot agree on the issue of child support, the court will impose guidelines pursuant to the state's Income Shares Model. The judge may deviate from the established model in order to consider special needs of the child, the ability of each parent to provide medical insurance coverage, and whether either parent has responsibilities for the support of other children. The court can also impose more subjective criteria such as the value of the services provided by each parent, the amount of time the child spends with each parent, and the potential earning capacity of each parent regardless of their employment status.
In Wyoming, alimony law makes it clear that the court can order either party to pay alimony at any time. While the court cannot make either party pay more than he or she is able to pay, it can substitute property for alimony. Alimony is paid for life in Wyoming, unless the court reviews the case and revises the amount.
Before alimony has been established, the court may order either party to pay any amount of money to the other party.
The court may order the person who keeps the estate to pay alimony. It may also order any amount to be paid from one ex-spouse to the other to the fullest extent of his or her ability. If one spouse cannot pay alimony for life, he or she may be forced to give the ex-spouse a lump sum of money, real estate or other profit. If one spouse has the ability to get a job, alimony can be demanded of the other spouse until that spouse gets a job. This type of alimony is not permanent, and the court can decide when alimony doesn't have to be paid anymore. This type of alimony is transitional, and is used by the spouse working on getting a job to pay for education classes needed for a career.
After alimony has been established, the court may, at any time, review the cases of either party and revise the amount. The main reason parties may ask the court to review the case is that the party paying alimony is experiencing an extreme increase or decrease in pay.
Parties may discharge an order if they jointly disagree with the court. This means they may make their own decision with regard to alimony, rather than let the court make a decision, if they can agree on an amount. The court may order either party to appear in court at any time. It also may order monetary security (in any sum the court wishes) from the party paying alimony, before he or she pays alimony, to be sure money will be paid.
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