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.