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15.4 Establishment


Chapter Federal Authority
Military Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
50 U.S.C. §§ 501-596
Social Security Act
§454(20) State plan for child and spousal support
§456 Support obligations
§466(a)(2), (c), and (d) Requirement of statutorily prescribed procedures to improve effectiveness of child support enforcement
§467 State guidelines for child support awards
§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 302.56 Guidelines for setting child support awards
45 CFR 303.4 Establishment of support obligations
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
Establishment Wyo. Stat. § 14-2-204 Liability for support; right of action; venue; service; measure of recovery; remedies cumulative; execution; continuing jurisdiction; notice
Wyo. Stat. § 14-2-801 et seq. Proceeding to adjudicate parentage
Wyo. Stat. § 20-2-301 et seq. Child Support
Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure
Rule 4 Processed
Rule 55 Default
Wyoming Child Support Enforcement Rules
Chapter 4 General Services
Wyoming Vital Records Services Rules
Chapter 4 Substitution of Birth Certificates

Policy Number Effective Date
15.4 October 1, 2010

Overview

In order to establish a child support obligation, a child’s paternity shall first be established as discussed in 8.2 Establishment – Paternity.  Once paternity is established, child support may be established in the same legal action or in a separate legal action in a District Court in Wyoming as described in 8.3 Establishment – Child Support.  

Policy

Paternity

If an alleged father is in the military and paternity is at issue, the District CSE Office will establish paternity as described in 8.2 Establishment – Paternity and the paternity sub-sections:

Paternity Establishment

In Wyoming, paternity may be established in one of the following ways:

1) Unrebutted presumption of paternity (See 8.2.1 Establishment – Paternity - Presumption for details);

2) Valid paternity acknowledgment (See 8.2.2 Establishment – Paternity - Voluntary Acknowledgment for details); or

3) Adjudication (See 8.2.4 Establishment – Paternity - Adjudication for details).

During case assessment, the case worker will determine if paternity is at issue.  See 6.5 Intake - Case Assessment for paternity proof determination steps and required documents.

For details and a table explaining paternity establishment methods along with timeframes for establishment, rescission, challenge, or denial of paternity, see 8.2 Establishment – Paternity and Table 1: Paternity Establishment & Timeframes in this paternity section.

Finally, in order to establish paternity, the mother shall also be a party to the action as described in Chapter 8 Establishment.


Note:  Paternity shall be established before child or medical support can be ordered by a Wyoming District Court.

Jurisdiction

If paternity is at issue, see 15.3 Military – Service of Process to determine if Wyoming has jurisdiction to establish paternity along with a child and medical support order.

Genetic Testing 

If the alleged father or the child’s mother requests genetic testing, the District CSE Office will follow the policy provided in 8.2.3 Establishment – Paternity – Genetic Testing with the following additional provisions due to the alleged father’s military service.

  • If the service member refuses to appear for genetic testing, the case worker can ask the commanding officer to speak to the alleged father.  The request should be in writing and provide the consequences of the alleged father’s failure to appear (e.g. contempt of court).
  • The commander cannot force the alleged father to appear.
  • If the service member continues to refuse to appear for genetic testing, the case worker will discuss next steps with the District CSE Office Attorney.

Guidelines

In order to determine the presumptive child support amount, the District CSE Office will serve upon both the custodial and non-custodial parents the Wyoming Supreme Court Financial Affidavit.  

If one or both of the parties does not properly complete the financial affidavit, the District CSE Office will utilize locate sources discussed in Chapter 7 Locate to find income or asset information for the parties.  

The District CSE Office will use income information and Wyoming child support guidelines to calculate the presumptive child support amount.  

Military Income

The Leave and Earning Statement (LES) contains all military pay including basic pay, any allowances (e.g. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)), special skill pay (e.g. hazardous duty), and bonuses (e.g. re-enlistment).  If the military member does not voluntarily provide a copy of the LES with his or her completed Wyoming Supreme Court Financial Affidavit, the case worker will request the LES from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).  (See Appendix 15.C - Military Websites for more information about DFAS).

Once the case worker receives a copy of the LES, the case worker will calculate the net income of the military member.  For a detailed review of the LES and calculating net income for those in the military who receive taxable, non-taxable and in-kind income through the military, see Appendix 15.G - Leave and Earning Statement.  

If, for some reason, the case worker cannot obtain the LES but knows the rank and/or pay grade of the service member, the case worker will access the Department of Defense (DOD) website to verify the amount of pay for that pay grade.  See Appendix 15.C - Military Websites for the link.


Note:  If the custodial parent does not complete the financial affidavit and the case worker cannot locate income or asset information, the case worker will impute minimum wage to the custodial parent as discussed in 8.3 Establishment – Child Support.

Child Support Orders

For a detailed explanation of child and medical support order establishment, retroactive support, and final order requirements, please see 8.3 Establishment – Child Support and 8.4 Establishment – Medical Support1.   When a member of the military is involved in an establishment action in Wyoming, the District Court will handle the child support action the same as when two civilians are involved with the following caveat.

The District Court on its own motion or the court-appointed attorney may request an automatic stay of proceedings.  The stay is granted (1) if the District Court Judge determines that there may be a defense to the Petition to Establish Support and a defense cannot be presented without the presence of the non-custodial parent, (2) after due diligence, the attorney has been unable to contact the non-custodial parent, or (3) the attorney certifies to the court that a meritorious defense exists.  

For details regarding default judgments and stay of proceedings, please see Appendix 15.B – Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Party Represented by an Attorney

If an attorney represents a case party, the District CSE Office will follow certain guidelines regarding release of information and communication with the party or attorney.  See 3.6 – Confidentiality and Safeguarding Information – Release of Information and Appendix 15.H – Communication with Persons Represented by Counsel.

 Cross Reference


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1When paternity is established either voluntarily or through a court order, a child of a military service member will be covered by TRICARE, the military health insurance program, when the base personnel office receives a copy of the birth certificate, the court order, or the voluntary acknowledgment filed with Vital Records Services.

Version Number Last Revised Date
1 July 1, 2014