Who has to pay child support in Wyoming?
Each parent of a child is expected to contribute to supporting their child. In general, the non-custodial parent has to pay support to the custodian of the child. The custodian of the child is usually the parent with whom the child lives. But not always.
When does a person have to pay child support?
Child support is ordered in several kinds of situations. Below is the list of the most common cases.
Child support as part of a divorce decree
Whenever the parents of minor children get divorced, the court will almost always order child support. The amount of support will depend on the number of children, the incomes of the parents and the custody arrangement.
Paternity actions and child support
Unmarried parents of a minor child can petition the court for orders of custody, visitation and support. This is often overlooked by parents, and can lead to significant problems a few years after the parents’ separation.
State benefits and child support
Whenever the parent of a minor child receives state benefits, the State will want both parents to contribute to the child’s support. Therefore, if both parents are not in the same household, the non-custodial parent will have to pay child support in Wyoming.
So if a parent applies for food stamps, kid care, or some other state benefits, the State will generally start a child support case. Child Support Services will start the case, and it will usually end with an order requiring the non-custodial parent to pay support.
Neglect and abuse proceedings and child support
Sometimes a child is placed outside of the parents’ home during a neglect proceeding or a child abuse proceeding. In those cases, the State will seek child support from the parents.
This is usually done in a separate child support proceeding.
Delinquency and child support
Minor children sometimes get in trouble with the law. In some of those cases, the state will begin a delinquency proceeding in Juvenile Court.
If the Juvenile Court ends up placing the child in some facility, such as the Wyoming Boys’ School or the Wyoming Girls’ School, then the court will order the parents to pay child support.
How do you calculate child support in Wyoming?
Child upport in Wyoming is generally ordered along the presumptive support amounts set out in W.S. 20-2-304.
The parents’ combined “net income” is plugged into the child support tables to determine the joint support amount. You then multiply that amount by the ratio of each parent’s net income and total income, and arrive at each parent’s “share” of the support. The non-custodial parent then pays their share of the support to the custodial parent.
This formula is kind of complicated. Fortunately, the Laramie County District Court hosts a child support calculator. Most people just use this calculator to come up with a support amount.
Why is child support important?
Child support is frequently fought about in divorce or paternity proceedings.
The parent receiving the support knows it is not enough to cover the costs of caring for the child. However, the parent paying the support often does not see all of the support being spent directly on the child. They feel that they are supporting the other parent, instead of the child.
How can we help?
Here at WYeLawyers, we can help make sure that you receive the support you are entitled to, or pay no more than you are required to. We do this by:
- helping you properly calculate your net income
- verifying and calculating the net income of the other parent
- helping you complete the Confidential Financial Affidavit
- negotiating an upward or downward deviation, if appropriate
So take the next step, and schedule an appointment by calling 307-382-5545.
By Steve Harton
Divorce with Children – Some of the issues that come up when children are involved, including child support.
Net Income for Child Support – a post on calculating net income.
Income for Child Support – this post explains what payments are considered for your gross income.