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Divorce in Wyoming: The Basics

· Divorce

Residential Requirements for Divorce

The party filing for divorce must be a resident of the state of Wyoming for at least 60 days before filing the Divorce Complaint. Wyo. Stat. 20-2-107.

Where can you file for divorce?

You can file for divorce in the district court in the county of where either you or you spouse live. Wyo. Stat. 20-2-107.

If you file for divorce in Wyoming as a resident and you move out of state, the divorce is still going to remain in Wyoming. Duxstad v. Duxstad, 17 Wyo. 411, 100 P. 112, (1909).

Distribution of Property

Wyoming courts will divide property based on what is fair on a case-by-case basis.

Separate Property vs Marital Property

Marital property is the property the couple acquired during the marriage. This property is subject to equitable distribution.

Separate property is the property each party had coming into the marriage. This property is not subject to distribution. Wyo. Stat. 20-1-201.

Assets

The court has broad discretion to distribute the marital assets as it sees fair and equitable under the circumstances.

What to do if the other spouse closes bank accounts or takes possession of other assets

The court can order that the other spouse refrain from disposing or destroying assets.

If the party can prove to the court that the other side is likely to take action that may affect a court order concerning property or financial interests, the court can impose a restraining order. Wyo Stat. 20-2-109.

Filing the Complaint

Filing for divorce requires: a Civil Cover Sheet, the Complaint, and a Summons.

Once you file the Complaint and send a copy to the other side, then you need to wait 20 days, or 30 days if the other side is out of state.

If the other side does not respond, you can apply for an Entry of Default. If the judge signs off, then you get a default divorce and the court will find in your favor.

Once the other side is served with the Complaint and Summons, you have 30 days to send him or her your Initial Disclosures. You will also have to fill out a Confidential Financial Affidavit, as will the other side.

The forms are available at the Wyoming Judicial Branch website.

What if you receive a Complaint for Divorce?

If you receive a Complaint for Divorce and Summons, you have 20 days to respond, 30 days if you are out of state.

After you are served, you will have 30 days to send your Initial Disclosures to the other side. You will also have to fill out a Confidential Financial Affidavit, as will the other side.

Modifying the Divorce Decree

Either party may petition the court to modify a divorce Decree. A Divorce Decree may be modified if there is a showing that there has been a material change in circumstances.

Divorce by Insanity

Divorce may be granted if either party becomes insane with no cure and they have been in a mental institution for the two years leading up to the action for divorce. Wyo. Stat. 20-2-105.

Is Divorce the Only Option?
If there are grounds for divorce, you can petition the court for judicial separation where you petition the court to live separately and independently from your spouse. Wyo. Stat. 20-2-106.

Christiansen v. Christiansen, 2011 WY 90, 253 P.3d 153 (2011)

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