Wyoming child support, custody, visitation, and wage garnishment rules
Use this Wyoming child support law to learn about your child support rights and responsibilites.
How is Wyoming child support determined?
In Wyoming, either parent may be ordered to pay child support. The courts may appoint a trustee to invest the support payments and apply the income to the actual financial support of the children.
There are official Wyoming Child Support guidelines, designed to be in the best interests of the child, that the courts use to help determine the correct amount of child support. Generally, the guidelines are determined by considering the combined income of both parents and the number of children to be supported.
The child support obligation is divided between the parents in proportion to the net income of each. The non-custodial parent's chare shall be paid to the custodial parent through the clerk of the court.
The guidelines will be followed, unless the parents have agreed to a child support amount approved by the courts, or the courts determine the guidelines are unjust for a particular case.
At what age does child support payments end?
Generally, the obligation ends when the child reaches 18 years of age or the child graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. A child will also automatically be ineligible for child support if that child marries, is legally emancipated, dies or enters military service.
Wyoming's custody guidelines:
Generally, the parents agree upon decisions about parenting and custody. If there is no agreement, then the courts will make
In Wyoming, joint, sole or shared custody may be awarded based on
the best interests of the child. The courts also consider:
- the quality of the relationship each child has with each parent
- 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
- the relative competency and fitness of each parent
- 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
- how the parents and each child can best maintain and strengthen a relationship with each other
- how the parents and each child interact and communicate with each other, and how such interaction and communication may be improved
- the ability and willingness of each parent to allow the other to provide care without intrusion
- geographic distance between the parents' residences
- the current mental and physical ability of each parent to care for each child
- any other factors the court deems necessary and relevant
In any proceeding in which custody of a child is at issue, the court shall not prefer one parent as the custodian solely because of gender.
The court shall consider evidence of spousal abuse or child abuse as being contrary to the best interest of the children.
At any time the court may require parents to attend appropriate parenting classes.
If both parents are considered to be fit parents, then the court may order any form of custody that most encourages the parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of rearing the child.
Wyoming's medical insurance guidelines:
Generally, the decision as to which parent is going to provide medical insurance coverage for the child and how medical bills will be paid is set out in the marital settlement agreement. If it is not, then the courts may require either parent to provide health insurance coverage for the child.
Usually, if a reasonable medical insurance plan is available through one of the parent’s employment, they are required to cover their child on it.
How permanent are the provisions for Wyoming child support and custody ?
Court orders providing for support and custody of children are subject to change or modification to reflect significant changes in income, and/or living arrangements of the children.
While all orders concerning the children are modifiable in the future, we encourage you to not enter into an agreement based on the idea that it can always be changed or modified later.
Wage garnishment for child support payments:
Most states, including Wyoming, have a provision for withholding child support directly from the earnings of the parent who has been ordered to provide support. The payments are withheld much like income tax is withheld from earnings payments.
This way of paying and receiving child support is generally easier for both parties and considered a very dependable solution. The way it typically works is, once the support is withheld, it is then sent to the state agency authorized to receive and disburse payments. Once it has been verified that the support was paid, it is then sent to the parent designated to receive the support.
If a non-custodial parent can show that they are providing more than 50 percent of the support for dependents not included in the court order from a second marriage, and is not in arrears, no more than 50% of their disposable income can be attached if they cannot pay the full court-ordered amount of both orders.
That number goes to 55% if the non-custodial parent is in arrears, 60 percent for a person only providing support to dependents under the current order, and 65% for a person who is in arrears and paying only on the current order.
How does joint custody work?
Joint custody is now widely recognized by parents, courts and state legislatures as the preferred parenting plan in much of the nation.
Specifically, joint custody is a form of custody of minor children that requires both parents to share the responsibilities of the children, and for both parents to approve all major decisions related to the children.
While joint custody is a 50-50 sharing of responsibilities and major decisions affecting the children, it rarely works out to be a 50-50 sharing of time with the children. Often one parent is named as the primary joint custodian and the other parent is granted visitation. The primary joint custodian typically retains the decision making power to determine the child’s primary residence and school and to designate things such as the child’s primary physician.
How Wyoming determines child visitation:
Generally, parents are free to visit with their children at all times that are mutually agreed to by both parents. When the courts have not awarded the parents with the equal-time alternating residential care provision, and the parents cannot agree to exactly when visitation will occur, the standard visitation schedule accepted most everywhere in the nation is:
- every other weekend
- four to six (4-6) weeks during the summer
- alternating holidays