There is a way to get divorced that doesn’t mirror a TV drama. Although divorce is never easy, some divorces can be relatively quick and mostly drama-free. For couples that are able to negotiate and cooperate to work through the issues of their divorce, an uncontested divorce is a great option.
This article provides a general overview of an uncontested divorce in Wyoming. If, after reading this article, you still have questions about obtaining an uncontested divorce, you should contact a local family law attorney for advice.
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on all major issues in the divorce and simply want to move on. Uncontested divorces can be with or without children and are generally much faster and much less expensive than contested divorces. Also, these simplified or summary divorces can also save spouses the anxiety and stress associated with going to trial. However, with an uncontested divorce, the spouses must agree on every issue in the divorce including child custody and child support if children are involved. For more information on calculating child support for divorce purposes in Wyoming, click here. The following is a list of major issues that must be resolved by the spouses before filing an uncontested divorce action in Wyoming:
If you are unable to agree with your spouse on any of the above issues, your divorce will be deemed contested and you will need to proceed to trial to have a judge decide your case.
Wyoming has an instructive website to assist spouses who want to file for divorce on their own through Legal Aid of Wyoming. However, before commencing the divorce process in Wyoming, you or your spouse must have resided in the state for at least 60 days. If you are a Wyoming resident, your spouse does not need to reside in the state for you to obtain a Wyoming divorce.
If you decide to file for divorce on your own, you will be responsible for filing the right forms with the right court. District courts in Wyoming are courts of general jurisdiction that oversee divorce proceedings. Each of Wyoming’s 23 counties has at least one district court and those courts are organized into 9 judicial districts. Typically, you will file your divorce paperwork in the district court located in the county in which you reside. If you and your spouse have separated and reside in different counties, either county’s district court would be acceptable to file your divorce paperwork.
The Wyoming Judicial Branch maintains a comprehensive website with forms needed to complete an uncontested divorce found here or available in hard copy at the local district courthouse. Although Wyoming court clerks are unable to provide pro se (unrepresented) litigants with legal advice, Wyoming’s Judicial Branch website provides a checklist and specific instructions to walk individuals through the uncontested divorce process.
In Wyoming, unlike some other states, joint divorce petitions are not accepted even for uncontested divorces. Instead, the spouse who prepares and files the initial paperwork, the "plaintiff," must file the following documents with the court and properly serve them on their spouse before a divorce may be granted:
Depending on the county where your paperwork is filed, the court may require forms in addition to those listed above. It is best to check with your local court clerk to verify that everything the judge needs has been filed.
Once the proper forms have been filed with the district court, the judge may or may nor want to hold a hearing on your case. These requirements vary from county to county, so be sure to check with your court clerk to determine whether a hearing is needed.
If you are required to attend a hearing, it will likely be fairly short and simple; you will only need to confirm that you have lived in Wyoming for at least 60 days and cannot repair your marriage, and you must explain the settlement agreement that you and your spouse have reached. If there are no issues with your paperwork, a judge will sign the Decree of Divorce and the divorce will become final.
If you have additional questions about obtaining an uncontested divorce in Wyoming, contact an experienced family law attorney for assistance. For more information on uncontested divorces in Wyoming, see Wyoming Statutes, Title 20, Chapter 2, Article 1.