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 CSP 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 CSP Office receives the foster care referral, the case worker will assess the case to decide whether the District CSP 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.
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 CSP 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 CSP 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 describes the appropriate court to bring certain legal actions and is set by statute.
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 CSP 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 CSP Office for establishment of a parental contribution as discussed in 13.4 Foster Care - Establishment.
If a Wyoming child support order exists for the child in state care, the District CSP 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 CSP 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 CSP Office will contact Colorado as outlined in 11.2 Intergovernmental – Initiating to redirect any payments to the Wyoming SDU. The District CSP 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 CSP 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.
Last Revised Date
April 3, 2017