Filing the Complaint for Divorce and Obtaining a Summons
This is Part 2 of a series that will walk you through an uncontested divorce in Wyoming, if you have no minor children with your spouse. I will be explaining the use of the pro se forms provided by the Wyoming Supreme Court, which can be found here.
You will need to complete the civil cover sheet (form DNCP 5), a Vital Statistics Form (form DNCP 6), and a Summons (form DNCP 8).
In the body of the post, there will be links to completed examples of each of those forms.
Civil Cover Sheet
A civil Cover Sheet must be submitted with each new filing with the Court. The Court’s use this sheet to enter data about the litigants, and to keep statistics on the types and numbers of case that are filed.
The first part you complete is the Caption. In the area for the Plaintiff, there are three lines. Just write your full, legal name on the first line. On the second line, write your street address or PO Box, and on the third line write your City, State and ZIP code.
There is a line for the Defendant below. On this line, just write the full, legal name of your spouse.
In part II, Nature of the Suit, check the box next to “Divorce w/o Minor Children.” Do not check any other box.
In most cases, you can skip Parts III and IV. If you and your spouse are involved in related cases, such as stalking or family violence cases, you should contact a lawyer.
Finally, sign on the bottom line as the pro se litigant, and write the date. Remember to write out the month, and write the four digit year. Like this: August 9, 2010.
Here is an example of a completed Civil Cover Sheet.
Vital Statistics Form
The Vital Statistics Form must be submitted to the Court with each complaint for divorce. Once your divorce is completed, the court will send information about your divorce to the states where you were born and where you were married. These are the records about marriages and divorces that the churches used to (and some still) keep.
The first part has the information about the applicant, which is you, the Plaintiff.
Box 1a. – Write you full, legal name. No abbreviations.
Box 1b. – If you are a woman, then write in your maiden last name. This is the last name you had, before your first marriage.
Box 2a – Write in the name of the place your reside. This is not necessarily the place of your mailing address. For instance, if you get your mail at a PO Box in Rock Springs, but you are living in your camper at Point of Rocks, then put Point of Rocks.
Box 2b. – This is the ZIP code of the place your reside, not necessarily your mailing ZIP.
Box 2c. – This is the county where you reside, and it should be in the same county where you are going to be filing your divorce. If you live in Bairoil, you are Sweetwater County. So, even though you have to drive through Rawlins (the county seat of Carbon County) you will have to file your divorce in Green River, the county seat of Sweetwater County.
Box 2d. – Write in Wyoming, because if you do not reside in Wyoming, you will not be able to file for divorce in Wyoming.
Box 3. – Write in the State you were born in. No need to write in the town. If you were born in the state of Chihuahua, in Mexico, then you would write the country name of Mexico.
Box 4. – Write in your date of birth. Remember to write out the name of the month, and use a four digit year. For instance, October 11, 2012, instead of 10/11/12.
This part has to do with your spouse, which is the Defendant.
All the information has to be entered the same way as for you, the Plaintiff. However, the Defendant does not need to be a resident of the same county as you, or even a resident of Wyoming.
This part collects the information about the marriage.
Boxes 9a, b. and c. – Enter the name of the city where you were married. This is the place where the marriage ceremony took place, not where you got your marriage license.
If you were married on the shore of Jenny Lake, then you would write Jenny Lake, near Moose, and then Teton in the County box, and Wyoming in the State box.
Box 10 – Write in the date of the marriage. This is not the date of the marriage license, but the date that the ceremony was performed.
Box 11 – Write in the date you and your spouse separated. This is the same date you entered in Line 3 of your Complaint for Divorce. If you are still living together, then write the date that you are filling out the paperwork.
Box 12 – This box wants the number of kids conceived by this couple. Since this series of posts is about an uncontested divorce with no kids, you should be checking the “None” box.
Box 14a. – If you are doing the paperwork yourself, then you check the “Pro se” box. If you have an attorney, then your attorney would be doing all this anyway, and they would write in their name, etc.
Box 14b. – This is the attorney’s address, not yours. Leave it blank.
That’s it. Do not write in any of the other areas, they are for the Clerk of Court.
The Clerk issues the Summons, (but you have to fill it out first). This is the document that actually requires the Defendant to participate in the divorce proceeding.
The first part is the caption, and you fill it out just like you did the Complaint for Divorce. Enter the County and Judicial District where you will be filing.Then you enter the names of the Parties, and leave the case number blank. This first part should be identical to the caption in the Complaint.
In this section, you will enter the Defendant’s full, legal name. For the home address, enter the place where they live, not a PO Box. Be sure to include the city, State and ZIP.
Defendant’s phone number (if you know it). This is used by the process server to locate the Defendant.
If you know where the Defendant works, enter the employer’s name and address. This also helps the process server, if the papers have to be served.
Leave the date blank. The Clerk of Court will fill that in when you file the papers.
Leave the Clerk of Court information blank too.
Plaintiff’s Name section
This is you. Enter your name, address and phone number on the lines indicated.
Here is an example of a Completed Summons, before filing it with the Clerk.
You have to make copies of all these documents before you go to the courthouse.
You should make two copies of the Complaint. The original will stay with the Court. One of the copies is for you, the second copy is for the Defendant.
Make three copies of the Summons. The Clerk will fill out their part on the original and the copies. They will keep one copy, the original and the other two copies will be returned to you. One of the copies is for you, the other is for the Defendant. The original will be returned to the Court after the Defendant is served.
Make one copy of the Civil Cover Sheet. The Court will keep the original, and the copy is for you. The Defendant does not need to be given a copy of the cover sheet.
You should also make one copy of the Vital Statistics Form for your records. You need to submit the original to the Court when you file the Complaint.
Paperclip the originals and their copies together. It makes it easier for the Clerks to process your paperwork. They will appreciate it.
Cash for the Filing Fee
The Clerk will not accept checks for the filing fee, so take cash. The filing fee is $70,00 as of the date of this post.
File with the Clerk of Court
After you have completed all the forms, made the copies, and collected your cash, take it all to the District Court. There is usually security at each Courthouse, so just ask them where you go to file a divorce.
Once you get to the Clerk’s counter, hand them your stack of papers. They will then file them, enter the case into the system and accept the filing fee. When they are done, they will return most of the papers to you.
You will then be ready for the next step, which is serving the Defendant.
By Steve Harton
See Part 1 of this series