13. Foster Care‎ > ‎

13.3 Jurisdiction

Chapter Federal Authority
Foster Care Social Security Act
§454(20) State plan for child and spousal support
§466(a)(2), (c), and (d)Requirement of statutorily prescribed procedures to improve effectiveness of child support enforcement
§468 Encouragement of States to adopt simple civil process for voluntary acknowledging paternity and a civil procedure for establishing paternity in contested cases
45 CFR 302.31 Establishing paternity and securing support
45 CFR 303.5 Establishment of paternity
45 CFR 303.7 Provision of services in intergovernmental IV-D cases
45 CFR 303.101 Expedited processes

Subject State Authority
Jurisdiction Wyo. Stat. § 14-2-204 Liability for support; right of action; venue; service; measure of recovery; remedies cumulative; execution; continuing jurisdiction; notice
Wyo. Stat. § 14-2-805 Venue
Wyo. Stat. 
 § 20-2-312 Redirection of child support
Wyo. Stat. § 20-4-142 Basis for jurisdiction over nonresident

Policy Number Effective Date
13.3 October 1, 2010

Overview

When a child goes into out-of-home placement through the Department of Family Services (DFS), the local DFS caseworker may refer the case to the District CSE Office for establishment or enforcement of an existing child support obligation to ensure both parents contribute to the child’s well-being while in state care and to offset the cost of their child’s placement.  Once the District CSE Office receives the foster care referral, the case worker will assess the case to decide whether the District CSE Office has the ability to either establish an order or enforce an existing child support order thereby determining jurisdiction.  In addition to jurisdiction, the case worker shall establish proper venue or the appropriate court in which to file the petition.

Policy

If paternity is at issue, the case worker will determine if Wyoming has jurisdiction to establish paternity or if another state has jurisdiction.  According to statute, Wyoming has jurisdiction to establish paternity if the alleged father:

1) Is served within Wyoming; 

2) Submits to jurisdiction by general appearance or filing a responsive pleading;

3) Resided with the child in Wyoming;

4) Resided in Wyoming and provided prenatal expenses of support for the child;

5) Caused the child to reside in Wyoming;

6) Engaged in sexual intercourse with the mother in Wyoming and the child may have been conceived in Wyoming;

7) Asserted parentage; or

8) Any other constitutional basis for personal jurisdiction.

If the District CSE Office has jurisdiction to establish paternity, the case worker will file the paternity action following the steps discussed in 8.2 Establishment – Paternity and 13.4 Foster Care - Establishment On the other hand, if the District CSE Office does not have jurisdiction to establish paternity, the case worker will initiate an intergovernmental action to establish paternity and support as provided in 11.2 – Intergovernmental – Initiating.

Venue

Venue describes the appropriate court to bring certain legal actions and is set by statute.  

Paternity

According to statute and if Wyoming has jurisdiction to establish paternity, a paternity action may be brought in District Court in the county where:

  • The child lives or is found.
  • The alleged father resides or is found if the child is not in Wyoming. 
  • A proceeding for probate of the presumed or alleged father’s estate has been initiated.

Establishment – Non-custodial Parent in another Judicial District

If the non-custodial lives outside of the District CSE Office’s Judicial District, the case worker will discuss the case with the District CSE Office Attorney to determine if the foster care establishment action can be filed in its judicial district or if the case shall be shipped to another District CSE Office for establishment of a parental contribution as discussed in 13.4 Foster Care - Establishment.

Existing Orders

Wyoming Order  

If a Wyoming child support order exists for the child in state care, the District CSE Office where the underlying child support order is filed will redirect the child support from the original case to the foster care case.  See section 8.3 Child Support – Affidavit of Redirect for more information about the redirection of child support payments.

Example 1:  If a mother and father are divorced in the 1st Judicial District and the child is placed in DFS custody in the 8th Judicial District, the District CSE Office in the 8th Judicial District will receive the child support application from the local DFS office, review POSSE for existing cases, and ship the POSSE Foster Care vs. Father case along with the physical file to the 1st Judicial District to re-direct the child support to the foster care case and enforce the order.

Other State Order

If there is a child support order from another state, the case worker will contact the state with the order as discussed in Chapter 11 Intergovernmental to redirect payments to the Wyoming State Disbursement Unit (SDU).  

Additionally, if the non-custodial parent is still in the state with the order, the case worker will also request enforcement of the underlying child support order.  On the other hand, if the non-custodial parent is no longer in the state with the order, the case worker will locate the non-custodial parent and ask that the state where the non-custodial parent lives register and enforce the child support order and re-direct the child support to the Wyoming SDU.

Example 2:  If a child is placed in DFS custody in the 6th Judicial District; there is an order for the Father to pay the Mother out of Colorado; and the Father lives in Colorado, the 6th Judicial District CSE Office will contact Colorado as outlined in 11.2 Intergovernmental – Initiating to redirect payments and enforce its own order.

Example 3:  If a child is placed in DFS custody in the 6th Judicial District; there is an order for the Father to pay the Mother out of Colorado; and the Father lives in Nebraska, the 6th Judicial District CSE Office will contact Colorado as outlined in 11.2 Intergovernmental – Initiating to redirect any payments to the Wyoming SDU.  The District CSE Office will also send an intergovernmental request as discussed in 11.2 Intergovernmental – Initiating to Nebraska to register and enforce the Colorado order. 


Note:  The Wyoming CSE Program will only redirect payment and enforce an existing order for the time-period the child is in state care.  Once the child leaves state care, the child support will be re-directed back to the original custodial parent.  Any arrears that accrued on the foster care case are still due and owing.

Cross Reference
None

Version Number Last Revised Date
2 April 3, 2017