Divorce with Children

A divorce with children in the house raises several issues. Among them are:

  • Where can you file?
  • Where will the kids live?
  • What kind of visitation will the other parent get?
  • How much child support?
  • Who provides health insurance?
  • How will the parents split medical expenses?

Where can you file for divorce with children?

Generally, you should file in the state where the children live. That’s usually the home state of the children. The home state of the kids is important, because only a court in the children’s home state can enter custody orders.

Where will the kids live?

In Wyoming, we call this physical custody. It is different from legal custody. There are three types: primary, shared and split.*

Divorce with children whose parents disagree on custody is difficult and expensive.

Where the kids live will determine which parent pays child support to the other. Shared and split custody arrangements will greatly reduce the amount of support.

What kind of visitation will the other parent get?

Standard visitation is generally as follows:

  • Every other weekend
  • Alternating holidays
  • Half of the summer

The standard visitation schedule is applicable for all custody arrangements. However, it can be, and often is, modified to meet the specific needs of the parents.

When one parent has primary custody, the other parent will be awarded visitation.

When parents have shared physical custody, the court will usually award each parent alternating holidays.

If parents have split physical custody, the parents usually get the standard visitation schedule. However, all of the children will be together on holidays, weekends and in the summe.

How much child support?

Child support is based on the net income of each parent. The net incomes are then plugged into a formula. The formula then determines the joint support obligation, and each parent’s share of the joint amount.

When one parent has primary physical custody, then the other parent pays their share of the joint obligation to the custodial parent.

When parents share physical custody, then the amounts are adjusted by the percentage of time the kids spend with each parent.

In split custody arrangements, the formula calculates how much each parent should pay to the other. Then the parent that owes the most, will pay the difference to the other.

To see how this formula works, go to this child support calculator.

Who provides health insurance?

In Wyoming, each parent is required to provide health insurance for their minor children, if available at a reasonable cost.

Reasonable cost has been defined as less than 5% of the parent’s gross income.

If both parents can provide insurance, then both will have to do so. Even if there is double coverage.

If neither parent can provide insurance, then the custodial parent will have to apply for KidCare of Medicaid.

How will parents split medical expenses?

The parents of divorced children are require to contribute to the children’s medical support. This is includes health insurance coverage. It also includes out of out of pocket costs.

Out of pocket costs are generally shared. However, when one one parent earns much more than the other, some courts will order the parties to share the cost in proportion to their incomes.

Conclusion

As you can see, a divorce with children raises several important issues. These issues have to be litigated or negotiated, and the terms need to be included in the divorce decree. In addition, income withholding orders notices to employers must be prepared. That is why a divorce is more expensive when children are involved.

How can we help?

Here at WYeLawyers, we have helped hundreds of people get divorced. We can represent you through the entire process. Or, we can help you take care of specific parts of your divorce. Like drafting the Complaint or an Answer and Counterclaim. Advising you on custody proposals. Calculating child support. So take the next step, and schedule a consultation by calling 307-382-5545.

* There is also something called sole custody. This is where one parent has the right to make all decisions regarding the children. The other parent only has visitation rights at the discretion of the sole custodian. Sole custody is very rare. 

By Steve Harton

Additional Resources

Child Support in Wyoming – more information on child support.

Net Income for Child Support – information on calculating net income.

How to Make Sure You Have a Miserable Divorce – What to avoid if you are getting a divorce with children.

Quick Divorce

The quickest you can get a divorce in Wyoming is in twenty one days. We have done it that fast a few times, but it is not that easy to pull off. Whether or not you can get a quick divorce depends on you and your spouse.

Twenty day waiting period

Under Wyoming law, a Court cannot enter a Decree of Divorce less than twenty days after the Complaint for Divorce is filed. This kind of a cooling off period, to allow people to reflect on their decision to divorce.

It is apparently useful, because sometimes people do decide to cancel their divorce. The spouses might have a big fight, where both decide that they want a divorce. The divorce is filed, and then a week or two later, the couple makes up and decides to remain married.

It is also useful to prevent people from making hasty decisions regarding property settlement. For instance, one of the parties cheats on the other. The cheating spouse might feel guilty, and as a sort of penance, agree to give more than a fair share of the marital property to the other.

Key to a Quick Divorce

The key to a quick divorce is cooperation between the Parties. You might not get along all that well with your spouse, but if you can cooperate this one last time, then you can get yourself a quick divorce.

Quick Divorce with No Children

It is much easier to get divorced if you have no children. However, you still need to gather the required information quickly, so it can be included in the Decree.

In addition to gathering information, you should discuss who gets which assets and which debts. Once this is decided, then it can be inserted into the Stipulated Decree, along with the identification information for the assets and the debts.

Both Parties will then sign the Stipulated Decree in front of the Notary, and then we will submit it to the Court, along with the Affidavit for Divorce. If all this is done before the twenty days are up, then the Judge will usually sign it on the twenty first day.

Quick Divorce with Children

Getting a quick divorce with children is more difficult. There are more things that you have to agree on. There is also a lot more paperwork that has to be prepared and submitted to the Court.

Initially, you need to reach agreement on custody, or where the kids will live. Then the visitation terms need to be laid out. Finally, the child support amount has to be calculated.

The child support cannot be calculated without a review of you and your spouse’s net incomes. This is best done by reviewing the last two years’ tax returns and W-2’s, and the most recent pay stubs. These documents are also needed to complete the Confidential Financial Affidavit. Filing a CFA is required by law. Most Judges will not grant a divorce in a case with minor children until that CFA has been filed by both Parties.

In addition to the CFA, we will need to submit a Confidential Information Statement, and an Income Withholding Order.

Of course you still have to agree on the division of assets and debts.

Conclusion

As you can see, getting a quick divorce depends on the spouses working together to gather all of the necessary information to enable us to draft the required documents. It will also require the two of you to agree quite a few things, and even more things if you have children.

The good news is that if you can pull off a quick divorce, you will also be getting yourself a cheap divorce.

If you are ready to get yourself a quick divorce, then take the next step and contact us by calling 307-459-6468.

By Steve Harton

Steve is a family law attorney in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Three ways to guarantee an expensive and miserable divorce

If you want to make sure you have an expensive and miserable divorce, be sure to do the following three things:

Number 1 – Start dating right away

There is no better way to make your wife or husband feel betrayed and disrespected than to start dating right after you tell them that you want a divorce. Knowing that you have moved on to someone else already will make them look for an attorney that will stick it to you.

The next best thing is to start dating right after the divorce is filed. Even if they were thinking about going for a friendly, easy divorce, seeing you with someone else will make your spouse want to get a piece of you, and an even bigger piece of the marital pie.

If you want even more conflict, date several people! This technique works equally well for men and women.

When your husband sees you with several men, he will see red, feel like a lesser man, and then want to make up for it by making sure you get as little of “his hard earned money” as possible.

When your wife sees you with other women, especially if they are younger than her, she will think she is no longer desirable. Thinking that her prospects are limited, and that she will have to face the rest of her life alone, she will want to get as much of the property and spousal support as possible, to try securing her future.

Finally, be sure to take your dates to places where your spouse sees the two of you together. Preferably to a place where you will also be seen by your spouse’s friends. You know, like her favorite restaurant for lunch with the girls. Or to the bar where your husband and his friends have a beer every Thursday after work.

Bonus – If you have children, then you absolutely cannot forget to bring a date to your kids’ basketball game, band recital, or any school function that your spouse is likely to attend. This move is guaranteed to create a hateful atmosphere that will make settlement nearly impossible.

Number 2 – Start dissing your spouse on Facebook

Posting pictures of you and your date kissing and hugging and otherwise displaying affection on Facebook, where your spouse and your mutual friends will see them, is a very effective way to create discord during your divorce process.

Get your friends and your spouse’s friends involved in your divorce on a public forum like Facebook. Each of you will get lots of advice and encouragement on how to get back at the the other. In addition, the advice will often conflict with the advice of your lawyer, which will help drive up your legal costs.

Even if you are not dating, you can still slam your spouse on Facebook. Be sure to call your wife ugly, fat, a lousy cook, and a slut. Tell the world that your husband is stupid, a deadbeat, a wimp, and quite small in the game. If you have the vocabulary, then use lots of profanity.

A Facebook post war between you and your spouse will help make the divorce more expensive, because your lawyers will spend lots of time reviewing and printing your posts, and making trial exhibits of them.

It will also make things more miserable, because you and your spouse will have to read your posts on the witness stand, and say all those ugly things in front of the Judge, and everybody else that is in the courtroom.

A final benefit of dissing war on Facebook is that it usually results in one of your getting a protection order against the other.

Number 3 – Get yourself a protection order

Getting a protection order during your divorce is the third prong of your expensive and miserable divorce trifecta.

This really drives the costs up, because in Wyoming, you usually have to go to a different court to get a protection order. You now have a new matter, in a different court, and you and your spouse will need to pay attorneys to represent you in this case too.

Once you get a protection order, you can no longer talk to, or go near, your spouse. All communications regarding possible settlement will have to go through your lawyers. If you need to get any of your belongings from the house, it will need to be arranged by your lawyer.

Getting your lawyer involved in every minor detail of your life is a terrific way to make your divorce expensive.

A protection order is sure to make things more miserable, because they are often violated. This will require another court hearing, where the other party usually requests a reciprocal protection order. Once that’s granted, there are often violations on both sides.

If you and your spouse can’t leave each other alone after that, then you could both end up getting criminal records and spending time in jail.

Conclusion

Dating right away, dissing each other on Facebook, and getting a protection order are three surefire ways of getting an expensive and miserable divorce. There are other ways, but if this is what you want, then start with these three.

If you do not want a miserable and expensive divorce, then don’t do those things.

There is a better way to get divorced. Give us a call, and we will show you how.

By Steve Harton