10.6 Adjustment


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
§467 State guidelines for child support awards
45 302.56 Guidelines for setting child support awards
45 CFR 303.106 Procedures to prohibit retroactive modification of child support arrearages
45 CFR 308 – Annual State Self Assessment Review and Report
Subject State Authority
Adjustment of Support Order Wyo. Stat. § 20-2-311 Adjustment of child support orders
Wyoming Child Support Enforcement Rules
 Chapter 4 General Services
Policy Number Effective Date
10.6October 1, 2010

Overview

In Wyoming, modification actions are filed in a civil docket of the original child support order in District Court.  In order to modify child support and/or medical support, the District CSE Office shall be prepared to provide the District Court with the following basic elements:

  • Legally sufficient information to modify the child support order; 
  • Jurisdiction over the parties as described in greater detail in 10.3 Jurisdiction; and
  • Evidence of a completed service of process as defined by the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure (WRCP).

Policy

In Wyoming, the District CSE Office will file a Petition for Modification of Support with the District Court.  Each party will be served with the petition and hearing notice.  If the non-requesting party did not provide a completed Wyoming Supreme Court financial affidavit during the review process, the case worker will serve the non-requesting party with the financial affidavit along with the other court documents.  

Medical Support

When modifying a child support obligation, the case worker will also review the order to ensure medical support is addressed.  

  • If the order does not address medical support, the case worker will include language to establish health care coverage for the child(ren) in the Petition for Modification of Support as described in 8.4 Establishment - Medical Support. 
  • If the order includes a provision for health insurance, the case worker will determine if the parent ordered to provide health insurance is complying with the order.  
    • If the parent(s) is complying, the case worker may include medical support coverage as part of the modification if the medical support provision does not meet the reasonable and accessible thresholds for health insurance as defined by Wyoming Statutes.  
    • On the other hand, if the parent(s) is not complying, the case worker will include language to modify the medical support coverage to include cash medical support until such time as health insurance is available.

Once the parties are served, the action may proceed in one of three ways: default, stipulation or contested case.

Default

If the non-requesting parent is served and does not respond to the Petition for Modification of Support within the timeframes provided by the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure (WRCP), the District CSE Office may default the non-requesting parent by following the WRCP for default judgments and the requirements of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  

The SCRA provides protections for military personnel involved in civil actions.  Specifically, before a default judgment can be entered the following will occur.

  • The District CSE Office will file an affidavit indicating whether the non-requesting parent is in the military; 
  • If it appears the non-requesting parent is in the military, the District Court Judge will appoint an attorney to represent the non-requesting parent; or
  • If the District Court Judge cannot determine the military status of the non-requesting parent (e.g. deployed), the District Court Judge may require a bond in an amount approved by the District Court Judge.

For details regarding default judgments and the SCRA, please see Appendix 15.B – Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

In addition to the presumptive child support amount, the default order will also address medical support as discussed in 8.4 Establishment - Medical Support along with a retroactive judgment to the date of the petition and costs and fees of the action.

Stipulation

Once the District CSE Office receives enough information to calculate presumptive child support as described in 10.5 Review Completion, the District CSE Office may contact the parties with the presumed child support amount to see if they would like to stipulate to the child support amount along with any judgments based upon child support arrears.  If so, the District CSE Office will draft a stipulation for both parties’ signatures and file the stipulation along with an order for the District Court Judge to sign.  

If neither of the parties is receiving means tested sources of income, the parties may agree to a deviation as described below; however, the District Court Judge shall still sign an order approving the deviation.

Deviations

A District Court may deviate from the presumptive child support amount.  If the District Court deviates from the presumptive support amount, the court order will contain the presumptive child support amount, the actual support amount, and the specific reason for the deviation.

The deviation factors the District Court may consider are:

  • The age of the child;
  • The cost of day care;
  • Any special educational or health needs of the child;
  • The responsibility of other children for either parent whether court-ordered or not;
  • The value of services contributed by either parent;
  • Under certain circumstances, reasonable confinement or birthing expenses;
  • The cost of transportation to and from visitation;
  • The cost of health insurance through an employer;
  • The amount of time each parent spends with the child;
  • Any other necessary expenses;
  • Whether either parent is underemployed or voluntarily unemployed; and/or
  • Any other factor deemed relevant by the District Court.

Note:  District CSE Offices
will not agree to a deviation between the parties when one party is receiving means tested sources of income (i.e. Pell grants, POWER grants, SNAP benefits, Medicaid, and SSI – see Wyo. Stat. § 20-2-303(a)(ii)).  The District Court will decide if a deviation is appropriate for the situation.

Contested Cases

If the parties cannot agree on the child support or wish to deviate in cases where one of the parties is receiving means tested sources of income, the District CSE Office will set the case for hearing before a District Court Judge.  The District Court Judge will hear testimony and determine if a modification of the child support obligation is appropriate.  In addition to child support and if appropriate as described above, the District Court Judge will also address medical support along with any child support arrears and costs and fees of the action.

Party Represented by an Attorney

If an attorney represents a case party, the District CSE Office shall 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  Counsel.10.A Communication Persons Represented by Counsel

Cross Reference

Version Number Last Revised Date
2    April 20, 2017