Wyoming Divorce Laws FAQs

In this article, we offer the answers to some of the most important questions about divorce in Wyoming. You can learn how and where to file your case, what documents you may need, how long it may take to get divorced in Wyoming, and how much it can cost. Besides, we will provide some basic facts about the distribution of property and assets, managing child support and alimony, and legal separation as an alternative to divorce.

Is Wyoming a No-Fault Divorce State?

Wyoming is a no-fault divorce state. It means that neither spouse should establish the other party’s fault for ending their marriage to get divorced.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Wyoming?

The legal reasons for divorce in Wyoming are irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity.

No-Fault Grounds

The legal no-fault grounds for divorce in Wyoming are:

  • Irreconcilable differences. Both spouses agree that their marriage is irreversibly broken and that no therapy or counseling can help them reconcile.
  • Incurable mental illness. One of the spouses should be declared incurably insane and live in a mental institution for at least two years.

Fault-Based Grounds

Technically, there are no fault-based grounds in Wyoming since it is a no-fault state. However, incurable insanity is sometimes mentioned as a fault reason by lawyers.

The fault-based grounds recognized in some other states, such as adultery, physical, mental, or verbal abuse, substance abuse, and financial irresponsibility, are not accepted as legal reasons for divorce in Wyoming.

However, they may potentially influence the court’s final judgment concerning marital property, child custody, and alimony if the fault is proven to have affected the financial, physical, or mental state of the innocent spouse or kids.

What Are the Wyoming Residency Requirements for Divorce?

According to state laws, at least one of the spouses must have lived in Wyoming for a minimum of 60 days before filing for divorce. The couple may be asked to prove residency for divorce in the state by providing the court with a Wyoming ID or driver’s license.

What Wyoming Divorce Papers Do I Need for Filing for Divorce

The basic divorce forms that you may need to file are:

  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Civil Cover Sheet
  • Vital Statistics form
  • Summons
  • Acknowledgement and Acceptance of Service
  • Affidavit for Divorce Without Appearance of Parties
  • Decree of Divorce

In case the couple has minor children, paperwork to file for divorce may also include:

  • Confidential Statement of the Parties for Child Support Order
  • Confidential Financial Affidavit
  • Order for Income Withholding
  • Income Withholding for Support

How Can I Get My Divorce Papers in Wyoming?

If your divorce is contested and you work with a lawyer, they will provide you with all the needed papers and fill them out for you. In case of an uncontested divorce, you can try searching the forms online on your own or get them from a paperwork preparation service.

Deciding to do the search yourself, note that there are different sets of papers for divorce with and without children. In addition, separate packages are needed for the plaintiff (the filing spouse) and the defendant (the other spouse). Some forms can also be optional in many cases, while others are unnecessary in a specific divorce case. That is why it may be a bit tricky to define which ones are suitable personally for you. Besides, while looking for the forms online, utmost attention must be paid to their relevance and credibility. Some websites may offer papers that are outdated, made for other states, or not court-approved.

It doesn’t, however, mean that your only alternative is hiring a lawyer. A more cost-effective option is using a paperwork preparation service like WYDivorceLaw. After you register and complete a simple questionnaire on our platform, the system will select and fill in the right forms on the basis of your answers. This way, you will not need to figure out which ones are suitable for your specific case or pay a lawyer thousands for a service we offer at just $139.

How to File for Divorce in Wyoming?

When filing for divorce in Wyoming, you need to take the following steps:

  • Prepare the necessary documents relevant to your specific case.
  • File the filled-out and signed forms with the Clerk of the District Court in the county in which either you or your spouse lives.
  • Pay a filing fee, which may differ depending on the location.
  • Take the file-stamped copies of the original papers from the clerk.
  • Serve one of these copies on the defendant and wait for them to answer.
  • Prepare the initial financial disclosures to exchange with the defendant.
  • Fill out the necessary final forms as required by the court in your county and file them with the clerk.
  • Attend a hearing if a court requires it.
  • File the Decree of Divorce signed by the judge with the clerk.

Your divorce process is finalized after that.

It is quite possible to file for divorce in Wyoming without a lawyer, but only if your case is uncontested. If the couple agrees on all the disputes, they can find the necessary forms, complete them, and file them with the clerk on their own.

Where to File Your Divorce Case?

The divorce case must be filed with the District Court’s Clerk in the county of either spouse’s residence. Their offices are typically located in the county courthouse or its branch. You can find the information about divorce courts in your Judicial District online to know their location, work hours, fees, ways of payment, etc., before taking any further steps.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Wyoming?

The average cost for divorce is about $17,500, with contested cases costing anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 and uncontested ones amounting to $1,000-$5,000. Of course, the total amount spent would vary depending on every individual situation.

Contested cases require spouses to hire attorneys who will defend their interests in the court. The average divorce lawyer fees range between $160 and $500 per hour. The more disputes you have, the more time you will spend with the attorney on negotiations and reaching agreements. Correspondingly, you will need to spend more money on the entire process the longer it lasts.

An uncontested divorce is cheaper since there are no disputes that would take too much time to resolve. Consequently, even if a lawyer is involved, the expenditures on their fees will be lower, amounting to about $4,000 on average. A mediator may cost even less.

At the same time, it is quite possible to save on the procedure by filing for divorce on your own, without the help of expensive lawyers. With our paperwork preparation service, for example, you can get a package of case-specific documents for only $139. After this, you will only need to file the papers following our step-by-step instructions on the process and pay the filing fee to the court. This way, you will be equipped with all the necessary knowledge, skills, and forms to get your quick and cheap divorce.

What Are the Filing Fees for Divorce in Wyoming?

The standard divorce filing fee in Wyoming is $120. Besides, some additional fees may be charged for copies, seals, transcripts, etc., related to and required in the case. All the rates are stipulated in Wyo. Stat. § 5-3-206(a)(i).

How Long Does a Wyoming Divorce Take?

A divorce process in Wyoming may take anywhere from 20 days to several months or even years. It is rather difficult to state exactly how long is a divorce process going to last since a lot of factors may influence its duration. On average, an uncontested case can be finalized in about 6 weeks, while complicated contested divorces may last for 6-18 months.

According to Wyoming laws, the defendant has 20 days (30 days if they live in another state) to answer the Complaint for Divorce after they have been served with the papers. This also overlaps with the typical divorce waiting period of 20 days from the moment of filing. So, in case of an uncontested divorce, if the spouses agree on all the issues and do everything timely, the Decree of Divorce may technically be signed on the 21st day after the documents have been filed with the clerk.

Nevertheless, such situations are quite rare. Since the courts are often overloaded with cases, scheduling your case for tomorrow may be impossible. So, even when the couple tries to complete and file the paperwork as soon as possible, a range of external factors may interfere with and delay the process.

If the case is contested, the divorce process will last longer. Firstly, both spouses should meet with their respective attorneys, who would need some time to review the case, negotiate with each other, agree on the issues, and process the necessary forms and procedures. Secondly, the parties would need to negotiate and attend the hearings on all the disputes. In the most complicated cases, when spouses find it hard to reach an agreement, these disputes, negotiations, and hearings may last more than a year.

Is Wyoming a 50/50 State?

Wyoming is not a 50/50 state. It means that in divorce cases, marital property is not divided equally between the spouses. Instead, the court makes the decision of just and equitable division.

How to Divide Property in Wyoming Divorce?

In Wyoming, the property is divided fairly and equitably between the divorcing spouses. Property is often regarded to be either marital or separate. Marital property includes possessions and assets acquired during the marriage and is generally divided between the spouses after the divorce. Separate property is the property owned by one spouse before the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during it and is most likely not subject to division. However, there may be some exceptions as to what is subject to division. If you present proof that certain property should or should not be distributed, the judge may make a decision in your favor if they consider it fair.

Wyoming divorce laws on property division do not offer any definite rules on how exactly it should be distributed. However, if spouses fail to agree on the issue, the court divides it according to the principles of fairness and equitability, taking into consideration the following factors (as stipulated in Wyo. Stat. § 20-2-114(a)):

  • Each party’s contribution to the marriage;
  • Expected condition of spouses after the divorce;
  • Who acquired the property.

The judge may also consider the way the property will benefit or put at a disadvantage either party or the kids, among other factors.

How to Split up Assets?

The spouses may agree on the aspects of assets division considering the state law of equitable distribution. If the couple is unable to reach any agreement on this issue, the judge decides how to split them up. When the dispute is complex, it may involve professional appraisal of tangible and intangible assets for the court to make the final judgment with accurate financial information at hand.

According to the divorce laws in Wyoming, assets are split up in such a way as to ensure just and equitable outcomes for both spouses. It does not always mean equally, though. The judge considers each party’s financial and non-financial contribution to their marriage, the earning capacity after the divorce, as well as its overall impact on both.

How to Manage Child Support and Alimony Under Wyoming Divorce Laws?

Under Wyoming divorce laws, child support amounts are based on the combined income of both parents, while alimony is determined with regard to the paying party’s ability to pay and the receiving party’s needs.

Child support is the payment made by a non-custodial parent after the divorce to assist the other spouse financially in matters related to their children. Its provisions are legally designated in Wyo. Stat. § 20-2-304. According to it, child support is calculated based on the specific formula, taking into consideration but not being limited by the following factors:

  • Both parents’ combined income;
  • The number of children;
  • Children’s needs;
  • The number of overnights children spend with each parent;
  • Expenses related to them;
  • Any other factors that the court deems relevant.

The amount allocated to each parent greatly depends on the physical custody split determined by the judge on the basis of Wyoming custody laws.

Unlike child support, alimony or maintenance is financial support paid to either spouse by another one to cover their needs. Instead of ordering maintenance, courts may allocate more property to the requesting party instead. If the property is not sufficient to compensate for spousal support, alimony in Wyoming is awarded after consideration of certain factors that include:

  • The paying spouse’s ability to pay and earn money after divorce;
  • The requesting spouse’s need;
  • The requesting spouse’s ability to work and earn money after divorce;
  • Child custody and support responsibilities;
  • Property division;
  • Any other relevant factors.

How Does Adultery Affect Divorce in Wyoming?

Generally, adultery has no legal effect on divorce in Wyoming. While it is one of the most widespread reasons people decide to dissolve their marriage, marital infidelity cannot be stated as legal ground in divorce cases since Wyoming is a no-fault divorce state. Besides, courts cannot take it into consideration when making decisions concerning assets division, child custody and/or support, and alimony.

Is adultery a crime in Wyoming? No, it is not. So, judges are not permitted by the Supreme Court to punish a spouse for misconduct by imposing any payments or depriving them of the right to some property solely based on the act of cheating.

Nevertheless, factors related to adultery may influence the court’s decisions on property division, child custody, or alimony. For example, if marital infidelity was the reason for the cheating partner to waste money from the family budget, it may influence the division of property decisions. If it caused child neglect due to the parent’s prolonged absence from home to meet with the lover, the judgment on custody may be affected. However, if it only causes mistrust and a strain in the relationships between the spouses, it carries no weight in critical divorce decisions.

Can I File for a Legal Separation in Wyoming?

It is possible to file for a legal separation in Wyoming instead of divorce. This option is suitable for couples who do not want to end their marriage altogether but wish to be legally and financially separated from each other. The spouses can ask the court to cancel the order at any moment if they decide to resume their marriage. On the other hand, they can file for divorce later to end the marriage permanently.

The Bottom Line

Any person can file for divorce in Wyoming if they meet the residency requirements and cite irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity as the reason. To start the case, the filing party or their lawyer needs to bring the paperwork to the District Court’s Clerk in the county where either of the spouses lives. They will then need to follow the due legal process to complete their divorce.

The length, as well as the cost of the process, greatly depends on an individual situation in each separate family and the spouses’ ability to agree on the disputes involved. Complex cases that entail hard decisions on division of property, child support, and alimony may require the engagement of an attorney, which would result in long months of attending multiple hearings and an average of $17,500 in costs.

However, getting an online divorce in Wyoming is quite possible, which is a much quicker and cheaper option. And, if you decide to go through the entire process on your own, you can complete a simple questionnaire at WYDivorceLaw to get a set of filled-out and case-specific forms for only $139. Along with ready-to-be-filed paperwork, you will get detailed instructions on how to file it and what steps to take next to divorce on your own.