Wyoming Family Laws
March 16, 2023
Wyoming Family Laws govern the legal rights and obligations of family members in Wyoming. Here are some of the key provisions:
- Marriage: In Wyoming, individuals must be at least 18 years old to get married without parental consent. However, those who are 16 or 17 years old may get married with the consent of their parents or legal guardians. Wyoming also recognizes common-law marriages.
- Divorce: Wyoming is a no-fault divorce state, which means that couples can get divorced without proving that one party is at fault. The court will divide marital property and debts and may award alimony to one spouse if deemed necessary.
- Child Custody: Wyoming courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. Joint custody is preferred when possible, but the court will consider a variety of factors in making a custody determination.
- Child Support: Wyoming courts use a formula to calculate child support payments based on the income of both parents and the number of children in the family.
- Adoption: Wyoming has specific laws and procedures for adoption, including requirements for background checks and home studies. Birth parents must consent to the adoption or their parental rights must be terminated.
- Domestic Violence: Wyoming has laws prohibiting domestic violence and providing protective orders to be issued to protect victims.
These are just a few of the key provisions of Wyoming Family Laws. It’s important to consult with an experienced family law attorney if you have specific questions or concerns about your legal rights and obligations as a family member in Wyoming.
In Wyoming, individuals must be at least 18 years old to get married without parental consent. However, those who are 16 or 17 years old may get married with the consent of their parents or legal guardians. Wyoming also recognizes common-law marriages.
To obtain a marriage license in Wyoming, couples must provide identification, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate, and pay a fee. The license is valid for one year from the date of issuance.
Wyoming also recognizes same-sex marriages, which became legal in the state in 2014 following a federal court ruling.
Couples may choose to have a religious or secular ceremony to celebrate their marriage, but a licensed officiant must perform the marriage ceremony and sign the marriage license to make it legally binding.
In the event of a divorce, Wyoming is a no-fault divorce state, which means that couples can get divorced without proving that one party is at fault. The court will divide marital property and debts and may award alimony to one spouse if deemed necessary.
In Wyoming, couples can obtain a divorce without proving that one party is at fault. Wyoming is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that either spouse can file for divorce by citing “irreconcilable differences” or “incompatibility.”
To file for divorce in Wyoming, one spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least 60 days before filing. The divorce process begins with filing a Petition for Divorce in the appropriate district court. The other spouse must then be served with the Petition and allowed to respond.
If the spouses can reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce, including property division, child custody, and child support, they can submit a written agreement to the court for approval. If they cannot reach an agreement, the court will hold a hearing and make decisions on these issues.
Wyoming courts divide marital property and debts in a way that is considered “equitable,” which means that the property and debts are divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. The court may also award alimony (also known as spousal support) to one spouse if deemed necessary.
If the couple has children, the court will prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. Joint custody is preferred when possible, but the court will consider a variety of factors in making a custody determination. The court may also order child support to be paid by one parent to the other to help cover the costs of raising the children.
In Wyoming, child custody is determined by the court based on the best interests of the child. The court may consider factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs, and any history of abuse or neglect.
Wyoming courts prefer to award joint custody to both parents when possible, but the court may award sole custody to one parent if it is in the best interests of the child. Sole custody means that one parent has legal and physical custody of the child, while the other parent may have visitation rights.
In some cases, the court may order supervised visitation if it is deemed necessary to protect the child’s safety and well-being.
Parents may also choose to work out a custody agreement outside of court through mediation or negotiation. If the parents can reach an agreement, they can submit it to the court for approval.
It’s important to note that child custody arrangements can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a relocation or a change in the child’s needs.
In Wyoming, child support is determined by a formula that takes into account the income of both parents and the number of children in the family. The formula is designed to ensure that the child’s financial needs are met, while also taking into account the parent’s ability to pay.
Wyoming courts may also consider other factors, such as the child’s health care and education expenses, child care costs, and any special needs of the child.
Child support orders may be enforced through wage garnishment, seizure of assets, and other legal means. Parents who fail to pay child support may also face penalties, such as fines or even imprisonment.
Child support orders can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in income or a change in the child’s needs. It’s important to keep the court informed of any changes in circumstances that may affect child support payments.
In Wyoming, adoption is a legal process that allows a person or couple to become the legal parent(s) of a child who is not their biological child. There are different types of adoption in Wyoming, including agency adoption, private adoption, and step-parent adoption.
To adopt a child in Wyoming, the prospective adoptive parent(s) must be at least 18 years old and meet certain requirements, including passing a criminal background check, completing a home study, and attending adoption education classes.
Agency adoption involves working with a licensed adoption agency, which will facilitate the adoption process and help match the prospective adoptive parent(s) with a child who needs a home.
Private adoption involves working directly with the birth parents or a private adoption facilitator to arrange the adoption.
Step-parent adoption involves the spouse of a child’s legal parent adopting the child.
Once the adoption is finalized, the adoptive parent(s) have the same legal rights and responsibilities as biological parents, including the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing, education, and medical care.
Adoption in Wyoming is subject to state and federal laws, and the process can be complex. It’s important to work with an experienced adoption attorney or agency to ensure that all legal requirements are met and the adoption is completed smoothly.
Domestic violence in Wyoming is a serious crime and is taken very seriously by the state. Domestic violence includes any physical, emotional, or sexual abuse that occurs within a family or household.
In Wyoming, domestic violence is a crime and can result in criminal charges, including fines and imprisonment. If you are a victim of domestic violence, it’s important to seek help and protection as soon as possible.
Wyoming has several resources available to help victims of domestic violence, including:
- The Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, which provides support and resources for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
- Local law enforcement agencies, who can assist in obtaining protection orders, restraining orders, and other legal remedies.
- The Wyoming Division of Victim Services, which offers financial assistance, counseling, and other support for victims of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, it’s important to seek help and protection as soon as possible. Contacting local law enforcement, a domestic violence hotline, or a local advocacy organization can help connect you with the resources and support you need.