12.3 Termination of Support
When a child support obligation ends, the Wyoming CSE Program shall assess the case for further action based upon the reason the child support obligation ended or any specific guidance in a court order for future enforcement of child support arrears.
Age of Majority vs. Emancipation
In Wyoming, the age of majority or the age in which a person acquires the status of an adult is 18 years. However, emancipation may occur before a child reaches the age of 18 under certain other circumstances.
Emancipation occurs when a minor receives certain rights of a person who has reached the age of majority. In order to emancipate in Wyoming, a minor shall:
Join the military; or
Legally declare emancipation.
In order to legally declare emancipation, a minor needs to meet the requirements of Wyoming statute. Those requirements include:
The child is at least 17 years of age;
The child willingly lives separate from his or her parents;
The parents consent or acquiesce to the separate living arrangements;
The child is managing his or her own financial affairs; and
The child’s income is not from illegal sources or POWER.
For purposes of the Wyoming CSE Program, child support ends when the child emancipates or reaches the age of majority unless the child is:
Mentally or physically disabled and incapable of self support; or
Attending high school or equivalent program as a full-time participant and is between the age of majority and 20 years.
Parents Marry or Remarry
Child support ends when the parents marry each other or remarry each other. If the parents remarry, the District Court may eliminate all child support arrears that accrued under the previous child support order except for those arrears owed to the State of Wyoming.
When the parents marry or remarry, the Wyoming CSE Program shall not file an action to eliminate child support arrears. Rather, the case worker shall refer the parents to a private attorney.
Termination of Spousal Support Obligation
Spousal support ordered in conjunction with child support can be collected as long as there is a current support obligation being enforced by the IV-D program and the spouse is living with the child. Collection of spousal support stops once the child emancipates or is otherwise no longer involved.
To remove the spousal support obligation from POSSE:
Send the Notice of Removal of Spousal Support from POSSE to the Clerk of District Court (NRMSSPA1).
Notify the custodial parent that spousal support will end using the Notice to CP Spousal Support Ending (NSPSPTA1).
Contact the State Distribution Unit (SDU) to add a financial adjustment to remove the spousal support arrears when a case becomes an arrears only case.
Termination of Parental Rights vs. Adoption
When the rights of a parent are terminated or voluntarily relinquished, the monthly child support ends only if:
The termination is conducted by the Department of Family Services (DFS) through the Wyoming Attorney General’s office or the county attorney;
The order specifically indicates child support terminates; or
The child is adopted.
If the termination of support order or adoption decree is silent regarding child support arrears, the child support arrears that accrued based upon the child support order are still due and owing, and the Wyoming CSE Program will enforce them as appropriate under federal and state law as discussed in Chapter 9 Enforcement.
Pending Termination of Parental Rights or Adoption
When the case worker learns of a pending legal action for termination of parental rights or adoption, the case worker will monitor for a final order and continue enforcing the underlying child support order.
Last Revised Date
October 11, 2017