Rules for Modification of Child Support in Wyoming
Change in Circumstances
- A petition for modification of child support may be brought before a Wyoming court at any time, provided a substantial change in circumstances exists. The Wyoming Supreme Court lists a few examples of what constitutes a substantial change in circumstances. Receiving government assistance (food stamps, Social Security benefits, etc.) constitutes a change in circumstances, provided the assistance occurs after the initial child support order. A change in custody also constitutes a substantial change.
- Wyoming law allows modifications for child support on a periodic basis. For example, if the support amount changes by at least 20 percent, and the order is at least six months old, the court can revisit the obligation to determine if it needs change. Parties may also request a court review every three years. Aside from the 20-percent change rule, bringing a petition for modification based on the timing of the agreement does not require a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.
Bringing a Petition
- Petitioners must complete a proper motion describing the basis for modifying the support and including any supporting documents, such as confidential financial statements. The court requires two copies: one for the court and one for the respondent. At the time of publication, the petitioner must pay a $70 filing fee. Additional fees may apply. The petitioner must arrange service for the respondent, who then has a chance to answer the complaint. After a 20-day waiting period, the parties may appear in court to address the modification. If the parties do not agree, a trial may be necessary.
- Bringing a petition to modify child support is a legal process. Determining whether a change in circumstances is substantial requires an analysis of the existing facts against current laws. While you may bring an action without an attorney, it is not recommended. To protect your rights, you should consult with a family law attorney licensed to practice in Wyoming.