Category Archives: Divorce

Divorced People with Minor Children Need a Will

If you are divorced and have minor children, you should make a will. For two main reasons. You need to appoint someone to handle the money you leave your children. You also need to pick  someone to take care of kids, if you and your ex both die.

Who Takes Care of Your Children’s Inheritance?

If you die without a will, the Court will give your children’s inheritance to their guardian. This is probably your ex. However, there are many reasons why you might not want your hard earned money to be given to your ex.

Your ex might not be good with money. They might have a drinking, drug and/or gambling problem. Your ex might spend that money on a fancy car to haul your kids around, instead of saving it to buy a car for the kids’ themselves.

The problem is that once the Court gives the inheritance to your ex, no one will be there to make sure that the money will be spent on your kids.

What if your ex can’t take care of your kids? Your ex could be in prison or rehab. He or she could be suffering from a physical or mental disability. In such a case the Court, would give the money Continue reading

Moving the court case after the kids move out of state

We live in a mobile society, and kids move with their parents. When parents are divorced or unmarried, then custody and support orders are affected. Courts need to be able to respond to these moves, and their actions are guided by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).

Moving and Child Support

Child support orders are entered when parents divorce, or when unmarried parents separate. The court that enters the initial support order is called the issuing tribunal, and the state in which that court is located is called the issuing state.

Even if one or both of the parents moves from the issuing state, that original court will continue to control the amount of the child support, and the enforcement of the support order.

Moving and Enforcement of Support

When the paying parent moves away from the issuing state, the case can be registered in the Continue reading

Wyoming Clerk of District Court

Addresses and telephone numbers for the Clerk of District Court in each Wyoming county. The District Court Clerk is the keeper of all records for divorce papers, adoptions, child custody cases, child support, name changes, probates and guardianships.

Below is a table of the Clerks of District Court for each county in Wyoming

Albany(307) 721-2508P.O. Box 1106
Laramie, Wyoming 82070
Albany Clerk2nd
Big Horn(307) 568-2381P.O. Box 670
Basin, Wyoming 82410-0670
Big Horn Clerk5th
Campbell(307) 682-3424P.O. Box 817
Gillette, Wyoming 82717
Campbell Clerk6th
Carbon(307) 328-2628P.O. Box 67
Rawlins, Wyoming 82301
Carbon Clerk2nd
Converse(307) 358-3165107 North 5th St
Douglas, Wyoming 82633
Converse Clerk8th
Crook(307) 283-2523P.O. Box 406
Sundance, Wyoming 82729
Converse Clerk6th
Fremont(307) 332-1134P.O. Box 370
Lander, Wyoming 82520
Fremont Clerk9th
Goshen(307) 532-2155P.O. Box 818
Torrington, Wyoming 82240
Goshen Clerk8th
Hot Springs(307) 864-3323415 Arapahoe
Thermopolis, Wyoming 82443
Hot Springs Clerk5th
Johnson(307) 684-7271620 W. Fetterman, Ste. 208
Buffalo, Wyoming 82834
Johnson Clerk4th
Laramie(307) 633-4270P.O. Box 787
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82003
Laramie Clerk1st
Lincoln(307) 877-3320925 Sage Avenue
Kemmerer, Wyoming 83101
Lincoln Clerk3rd
Natrona(307) 235-9243115 N. Center St., Suite 100
Casper, Wyoming 82601
Natrona Clerk7th
Niobrara(307) 334-2736P.O. Box 1318
Lusk, Wyoming 82225
Niobrara Clerk8th
Park(307) 527-8690P.O. Box 1960
Cody, Wyoming 82414-1960
Park Clerk5th
Platte(307) 322-3857P.O. Box 158
Wheatland, Wyoming 82201
Platte Clerk8th
Sheridan(307) 674-2960224 S. Main Street, Suite B11
Sheridan, Wyoming 82801
Sheridan Clerk4th
Sublette(307) 367-4376P.O. Box 764
Pinedale, Wyoming 82941
Sublette Clerk9th
Sweetwater(307) 872-6448P.O. Box 430
Green River, WY 82935
Sweetwater Clerk3rd
Teton(307) 733-2533P.O. Box 4460
Jackson, Wyoming 83001
Teton Clerk9th
Uinta(307) 783-0456P.O. Box 1906
Evanston, Wyoming 82931
Uinta Clerk3rd
Washakie(307) 347-4821P.O. Box 862
Worland, Wyoming 82401
Washakie Clerk5th
Weston(307) 746-47781 West Main
Newcastle, Wyoming 82701
Weston Clerk6th
Clerk of District Court

Weston County Courthouse

Whenever you are requesting documents, or inquiring about a case, be sure to have the names of the Parties, as well as the docket number, available to get the fastest service.

Whenever you want a Judge to do something on your divorce, child custody or child support case, you have to file the papers with the Clerk of District Court, not with the Judge.

What can I file with the Clerk of District Court?

Some of the things you should consider filing yourself are notices of a:

  • change in your address,
  • change in your employment, and
  • change of your name.

You may also consider filing a request for child support abatement.  This is a little more complicated,  but many people do it successfully without the help of an attorney.

Finally, you could file a Motion for an Order to Show Cause when your ex does not follow the Court’s orders.

By Steve Harton

Steve Harton is a family law attorney in Wyoming.

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Just got served child support papers

If you have been served child support papers, you want to know what you need to do next.

In this post we will assume that :

  • you are a man,
  • you and the mother were together for a while and she had a child,
  • you and the mother broke up and separated,
  • you are sure the kid is yours*, and/or you are listed as the father on the birth certificate,
  • you want to be involved in the child’s life, but you are OK with the kid living with his or her mother, and
  • you want to pay the right amount of child support
  • (we are also going to assume the petition was filed in Wyoming by Child Support Services, but these same principles probably apply elsewhere too)

Answer the Petition

One of the papers you were served is the Petition.

This is the document that sets out the basic requirements for the suit, such as the names of the mother, the child, the father, their birth dates, addresses, etc., and that the child lives in the State, and that there is no support order in place for that child.

Generally, each numbered paragraph of the Petition contains one or more factual allegations that you must answer.  You must admit or deny each allegation individually, or if you do not know if the allegation is true or false, you must state so.

File a Counter-Petition to Establish Custody, Visitation and Support

In addition to answering the Petition, you need to file a Counter-Petition to make sure you get visitation rights.

In many Wyoming counties, the Child Support Services office will file the Petition to establish support.  They will assert that mother has custody, father has to pay support, and the Court’s orders will not say anything about father’s visitation rights.

Some Courts will grant visitation rights in these sorts of cases, but they will be generic, standard terms, and they may not fit your living situation and work schedule.

If you want the Court to award you the sort of visitation that works for you, you need to ask for that by filing a Counter-Petition.

Gather Your Income Information

Child support is based on the net incomes of the child’s parents.  Your net income is not necessarily what you clear on each paycheck.

In Wyoming, you can deduct your taxes, health insurance premiums (for the child), child support for your other children, union dues and mandatory retirement contributions.

The only way to get an accurate calculation of your net income is to gather your last two (or three) income tax returns and W-2’s, and your pay stubs showing your year to date earnings. Be sure to collect at least a month’s worth of pay stubs, so that you are sure to catch all your deductions.

So, if you get paid once a month, you need the last pay stub, if you get paid twice a month, then your last two, if every other week, then the last three pay stubs, and if you get paid once a week,  then you need the last five pay stubs.

If you are unemployed, then bring the stubs you get from unemployment.  If you are self-employed, then you should probably get yourself a lawyer.

Your Petition probably also came with a blank Confidential Financial Affidavit, and you should complete that document, and file it with the Court and mail a copy to Child Support Services.

Attend the Child Support Hearing

The Petition to establish child support will almost always come with an Order Setting Hearing.  This order will indicate the place, date and time of the hearing.

Do not make the mistake of not showing up for this hearing.  Even if you have to take time off from work. If you do not attend the hearing, the attorney for child support services office will just take the mother’s word to establish your income, and set the support amount accordingly.

It is very easy for the mother to only remember your big checks (the ones with a ton of overtime) when she is asked about your income.

Even if you submitted the Confidential Financial Affidavit to the Court, you may have calculated incorrectly, or made some other mistake.  The hearing is the only place where these things can be corrected.

Let me say this again: Be sure to attend the child support hearing in person!

Consider Hiring a Lawyer

Many fathers decide to go it alone when they are served with child support papers.  However, when the State sues you for support, you are not involved in a friendly, cooperative legal case.  The child support attorney is there to get as much support for the mother as possible.  They are also not interested in making sure that you get the visitation that you are entitled to.

A good family law attorney can make sure you pay the right amount of support, and not any more, and can help you get the visitation that you want and deserve.

* If you are not sure you are the father, then you must request paternity testing.  This request will put the action on hold until genetic testing is ordered and completed.  You must file this request now, because it is extremely difficult to disprove your paternity after it has been adjudicated by the Court, and you are ordered to pay child support.


Posted by Steve Harton, a family law attorney practicing in Wyoming.