10.5 Review Completion


Chapter Federal Authority
Review and Adjustment Social Security Act
§452(f) and(k) Duties of the Secretary
§454 (20) State plan for child and spousal support
§466(a)(10) and (d) Requirement of statutorily prescribed procedures to improve effectiveness of child support enforcement
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
§467 State guidelines for child support awards
50 U.S.C. §§ 501-596
45 CFR 302.56 Guidelines for setting child support awards
Subject State Authority
Review Completion Wyo. Stat. § 20-2-311 Adjustment of child support orders
Wyoming Child Support Enforcement Rules
Chapter 4 General Services
Policy Number Effective Date
10.5 October 1, 2010

Overview

Federal and state law requires a review of a child support order under certain circumstances.  The review is based upon financial information from both parents and the Wyoming child support guidelines.

A review falls into one of 3 categories:

1) 3 year mandatory review for POWER recipients.  The last review or order is more than 36 months old.

2) 3 year review by request of a party.  The last review or order is more than 36 months old and one of the parties requested a review.

3) Substantial change in circumstances review.  One of the parties or the Wyoming CSE Program requests a review; the order is at least 6 months old; and a substantial change in circumstances is alleged.

Policy


Note:  
In order to proceed with an adjustment, the child support obligation will increase or decrease by 20% and/or there is a substantial change in circumstances as described in 10.4 Review Criteria.

Note:  In order to proceed with an adjustment, the child support obligation will increase or decrease by 20% and/or there is a substantial change in circumstances as described in 10.4 Review Criteria.


Review

Once the case worker determines a review is appropriate, the case worker will:

  • Ensure Wyoming has jurisdiction to modify the child support order (See 10.3 Jurisdiction for details); 
  • Send the non-requesting parent the review and adjustment cover letter and financial affidavit with a return request of all information within 30 calendar days;
  • Request and/or review wage information from employer, Employment Security Commission (ESC), or Federal Case Registry (FCR) screens; 
  • Use the Wyoming child support guidelines to calculate presumptive child support as described below; and
  • Notify the parties of the results of the review:
    • The review is denied because there is not a 20% change in the child support amount and/or there is not a substantial change in circumstances, or
    • There is a 20% change in the child support amount and/or there is a substantial change in circumstances to warrant a modification.  See 10.6 Adjustment of Support Order for judicial modification details.

Guidelines

In order to determine the presumptive child support amount, the District CSE Office will use income information provided by the requesting party in the form required by the Wyoming Supreme Court.  If the non-requesting party 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 the Wyoming child support guidelines to calculate the presumptive child support amount.  

Imputed Income

When a parent’s actual income is not available, the case worker will need to impute or assign income to a parent in order to calculate child support.  There are several instances where the case worker may have to impute income to a party in order to calculate presumptive child support.

Voluntarily Under-Employed.  When a parent is voluntarily under-employed (e.g. the parent is purposefully making less income than the parent could make), the income is based upon the actual income, potential income or minimum wage whichever is higher.  See the District CSE Office Attorney for specific examples of under-employed circumstances as defined by the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Minimum Wage.  If one or both of the parties fails to complete the Wyoming Supreme Court financial affidavit and the case worker cannot find wage information through other sources or in the case of a parent that does not work outside of the home, the District CSE Office will impute minimum wage to one or both parties.  The income will be defined by Wyoming statutes and calculated using full-time (e.g. 40 hours per week) wages.  


Note:  
All District CSE Offices will use the imputed wage calculation provided by the IV-D Director.  This calculation is updated and reviewed by the IV-D Director and District CSE Office Managers when minimum wage increases or the Wyoming guidelines are changed.

Minimum Child Support Award

According to Wyoming statute, the minimum child support award will not be less than $50.00 for each family unit.

Social Security or Veteran’s Benefits

If a custodial parent is receiving social security or veteran’s benefits (hereinafter “benefits”) for the child(ren) due to the steps taken by the non-custodial parent to receive the benefits, the total benefit paid to the non-custodial parent and paid to the child(ren) through the custodial parent will be counted as income to the non-custodial parent for purposes of calculating child support.  However, the total benefit received by the custodial parent for the child will be deducted from the non-custodial parent’s share of presumptive support.  If the subtracted amount results in a negative child support obligation, the child support amount will be zero. 


Note:  
The non-custodial parent or the Wyoming CSE Program may petition the court for a retroactive credit against any child support arrears based upon these types of benefits received by the custodial parent.

Terminate Review

The review may end in one of the following ways:

  • The non-public assistance applicant for services requests closure of the IV-D child support case. 
  • The requesting party provides a written, signed statement requesting termination of the review and a Petition for Modification of Support has not been filed.  If a Petition for Modification of Support has already been filed, the District CSE Office Attorney will determine if the action will move forward or be dismissed.
  • The District CSE Office Attorney determines the order should not be modified.
  • Wyoming originally requested the review of the POWER or Medicaid case, the POWER or Medicaid case is closed, and the former Power/Medicaid custodial parent will not cooperate by providing the requested information. 
  • Another state initiated modification proceedings. 
  • One of the parties initiated a modification through private attorneys.
  • One of the parties cannot be located.

Once the case worker determines a review should be terminated, the case worker will notify the parents of the termination of the review and update POSSE.  If the non-requesting party would like to continue the review process, the District CSE Office will continue the review as long as the non-requesting party provides the completed Wyoming Supreme Court Financial Affidavit and a request for review.

Special Circumstances

Some situations exist that require special handling of a review and adjustment request.

Multiple Cases

If the non-custodial parent is the requesting party, only one order will be reviewed at a time.  The case worker will contact the non-custodial parent to determine which order should be reviewed first.

Incarcerated Non-Custodial Parent

If the non-custodial parent is incarcerated and the case does not meet closure criteria as discussed in Chapter 12 Closure, one of the parties may request a review and adjustment without regard to the age of the order or date of last review as incarceration is considered a substantial change in circumstances.  

The District CSE Office will file a Petition for Modification of Support as described in 10.6 Adjustment of Support Order.  The District Court may order the minimum child support amount per family unit, $50.00, as discussed previously.

One or Both of the Parties – Active Military

A request for review and adjustment will proceed as discussed in this chapter; however, the case worker will consider the Basic Allowance for Subsistence or Separate Rations (BAS or Sep Rat), the Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ), and the benefit of tax free income when calculating child support.

The Wyoming CSE Program will follow all of the requirements of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act as discussed in greater detail in Chapter 15 Military.

Order Does Not Have a Child Support Amount

If an order does not make reference to a child support amount, a child support order shall be established as described in Chapter 8 Establishment.  On the other hand, if the child support order references child support but does not order a specific amount, the order should be modified to include a specific child support amount as provided by the Wyoming child support guidelines.

Percent Orders

In order to provide child(ren) with a consistent and reliable child support obligation, Wyoming child support orders that require a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income to be paid as the support obligation will be modified to provide a specific child support amount according to the Wyoming child support guidelines.

Non-Custodial Parent in Arrears

A request for review and adjustment by a non-custodial parent will not be denied because the non-custodial parent owes child support arrears.  

Retroactive Modification

Wyoming law prohibits retroactive modification of a child support order except under the following limited circumstances:

  • The parties agree; or
  • For the time period the modification is pending, but only from the date the Petition for Modification of Support is served upon the non-requesting party.
Cross Reference

None

Version Number Last Revised Date
1 July 1, 2014