This website is a resource for everyone that is interested in learning about a Wyoming Divorce. You will find information on Wyoming divorce laws, sources of free Wyoming divorce kits, do-it-yourself divorce forms, and general divorce information. Finally, you can use this site to find and connect with a Wyoming divorce lawyer.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please leave a question or comment on our contact page, so that it can be addressed in a later post.
Divorce in Wyoming is a four part process. The Complaint has to be filed (and Summons issued), the spouse must be served, the property must be divided, and the Judge must issue the Divorce Decree.
The Complaint for Divorce
A Wyoming divorce is started when the Plaintiff (the spouse seeking the divorce) files a Complaint for Divorce. The Complaint must identify the names of the Parties, state the jurisdictional requirements, and tell the Court what the Plaintiff wants. In a case where there are minor children, the complaint must also set out additional information, such as the names and birth dates of the children, and who should have custody of the children.
Names of Parties
The Complaint must set out the full, legal name of the Parties. The Plaintiff is the person filing (or seeking) the divorce, and the Defendant is the other spouse. It generally does not matter which spouse files first, but the Plaintiff will have to give their grounds for asking for the divorce at some point.
The Plaintiff must meet the jurisdictional requirements for filing a divorce in Wyoming, or the Court will not grant the divorce. These requirements are listed below:
- Residency requirement – The Plaintiff must be a resident of the State of Wyoming for more than sixty (60) days prior to the date of filing for divorce. Residency for purposes of divorce begins when a person decides to make Wyoming their home, This can be the day a person moves to Wyoming, or sometime thereafter. For instance, a person may come to Wyoming for a visit or a job, and then makes a decision to stay in the state for an indefinite time. Indications of intent to remain in the state are getting a Wyoming drivers license, registering vehicles in the state and registering to vote.
- Valid Marriage – Another requirement is that the marriage must be valid. This means that there was some ceremony solemnizing the marriage before some official, that the parties were not married to someone else at the time, and that there was not some legal impediment to the marriage.
- Grounds – Although Wyoming is generally considered a no fault divorce state, the Plaintiff must still state some grounds for the divorce. Some common grounds for divorce are:
- infidelity on the part of the other spouse,
- physical, mental or verbal abuse
- alcohol or drug abuse
- financial irresponsibility and/or non support
- incompatibility – as in one person wants to travel or relocate, and the other just wants to stay put
These grounds are what lead to Irreconcilable Differences, which is the symptom of the problems in the marriage. Some judges are real strict on the grounds requirement, others less so.
To view a short video on the jurisdictional requirements for a Wyoming divorce, click here.
Claim for Relief
The Complaint for Divorce must also state what the Plaintiff wants the Court to do. Generally, these are as follows:
- Grant a divorce
- Divide the marital property
- Restore the wife’s maiden name, if she is the Plaintiff
Plaintiffs can also ask the Court to award alimony, and for an order for the other side to pay attorney fees and costs.
Complaint for Divorce with Minor Children
Whenever a divorcing couple has minor children (under 18 years of age), the Complaint for Divorce must include additional information. The names and dates of birth of the children must be stated. In addition, the Plaintiff must state the jurisdictional requirements for the Court to make a child custody determination. Therefore, the complaint must state where, and with whom, the children have lived in the past five years, and whether or not there are any other custody proceedings concerning the children pending in any other court. Finally, the complaint must ask the Court to make a custody determination, and orders for visitation and for child support.
Once the Complaint for Divorce is filed in one of the District Courts, the Court will issue the Summons. The Summons actually has to be prepared by the Plaintiff, but the Clerk of Court issues it. The Summons notifies the Defendant that a Complaint for divorce was filed, and commands the Defendant to respond to the Complaint within a set period of time. It also informs the Defendant that if a response is not filed with the Court within a certain time, default will be taken against him or her.
The Wyoming Supreme Court has created a set of Family Law Pro Se Forms that contain sample forms for a Complaint for Divorce and a Summons. They are available for free, and can be downloaded and printed.