The Wyoming Child Support Program (CSP) provides services to individuals who apply or are referred for services through the following mechanisms:
1) Public assistance referrals;
2) Non-public assistance applications;
3) Foster care referrals; and
4) Transmittals from another state, tribe, or country with a reciprocal agreement.
There are no eligibility requirements for child support applicants (e.g. residency or income limitations), and anyone may complete a child support application. However, the services provided are limited by state and federal law. For instance, the Wyoming CSP shall not establish an order for a non-custodial parent to pay alimony to a custodial parent, nor shall the Wyoming CSP Program establish an order of child custody.
All applicants for child support enforcement services should read about their rights and responsibilities in the Statement of Understanding and A Guide to the Wyoming Child Support Program (Appendix 6.A) provided at the time of application or immediately after completing the DFS Form 543.
Finally, both the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation provide child support services to members of their respective tribes. If one of the four types of applications involves a tribal member, please review Chapter 18 Tribal IV-D Program to determine if the case should remain part of the Wyoming CSP or if it should be transferred to one of the tribal child support programs.
As discussed in greater detail in 6.1 Introduction, the local District CSP Offices shall:
Make applications available and accessible;
Provide an application at the time of request or within 5 business days if the request is made by phone or mail;
Accept the application the date it is received; and
Open a case and assess it within 20 calendar days.
Note: Once an application is received, it shall be date stamped in order to monitor adherence to federal timeframes.
Unless the application is specifically limited (e.g. locate only requests) both public assistance and non-public assistance applications shall receive full services which include:
Locate alleged fathers or non-custodial parents;
Locate employer and assets;
Establish child and medical support;
Enforce child and medical support;
Initiate and respond to intergovernmental cases; and
Review and adjust child support orders.
Services are limited to these areas and do not include:
Custody and visitation;
Medical support bill collection or judgments;
Other provisions of a divorce decree; and/or
Representing the applicant/customer.
Note: The attorneys involved in the Wyoming CSP represent the State of Wyoming through a Special Attorneys General appointment and do NOT represent the participants in the child support program.
Public Assistance Cases
Customers receiving public assistance (POWER or Medicaid ) shall complete the DFS Form 543; however, prior to receiving the DFS Form 543, the Wyoming CSP may receive an electronic referral from the IV-A agency through an EPICS. Upon receipt of the child support application or referral, the child support case worker shall check POSSE for a case (see 6.3 POSSE Case for details) and assess the case (see 6.5 Case Assessment).
Note: Foster care applications are discussed in detail in Chapter 13 Foster Care.
As a condition of POWER eligibility and some types of Medicaid as outlined in Appendix 6.D – Medicaid Subtypes & Child Support Cooperation, the public assistance recipient is required to cooperate with the Wyoming CSE Program in identifying and locating the non-custodial parent, establishing paternity, and/or obtaining child support payments.
In order to meet cooperation requirements, the custodial parent shall try to provide information to identify and locate the non-custodial parent or alleged father. This information should include the first and last name of the non-custodial parent and at least two of the following:
Social security number;
Date of birth or approximate age;
Place of birth;
Address, city, or state;
Telephone number including cell phone;
Make, model and license number of any motor vehicle owned by the non-custodial parent; or
Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the non-custodial parent’s parents or other relatives.
If the custodial parent is unable to provide sufficient information necessary to identify and locate the non-custodial parent, he/she shall demonstrate cooperation by providing as much information as possible in response to additional questions that may be posed by the case worker.
Note: If the alleged father is unknown, “Unknown” shall be entered on the DFS Form 543 for the name of the alleged father, and the District CSP Office shall schedule an interview with the public assistance applicant to approve the “unknown” status. See 6.5 Case Assessment for “unknown” interview details.
The custodial parent may also be required to cooperate by:
Providing additional forms, court orders, and other documents (e.g. UIFSA general testimony);
Assisting the District Child Support Office in establishing paternity either by voluntary acknowledgment or court order; and/or
Assisting the District Child Support Office by participating in genetic testing, appearing in court, or providing new locate information for the non-custodial parent.
As long as the public assistance applicant completes all requested forms, provides as much information as known, and if requested meets with the child support case worker, the Wyoming CSP considers the applicant cooperative for purposes of receiving public assistance.
If the POWER recipient does not cooperate with child support, the case worker shall notify the DFS Benefit Specialist of the non-cooperation via e-mail or by completing DFS Form 563b. The notification shall be immediate but no later than the 15th of the month by 5:00 p.m. See the Combined Manual §722. On the other hand, if the Medicaid recipient does not cooperate with child support, the case worker shall contact the Medicaid representative designated in Appendix 6.D – Medicaid Subtypes & Child Support Cooperation to request assistance. If the Medicaid recipient still will not provide the requested information, the case worker shall notify the Medicaid Representative of the non-cooperation as described above.
If cooperation is required based upon the receipt of public assistance, the public assistance participant may request an exemption of cooperation through a request of good cause. Good cause is a legal reason for which a POWER or Medicaid recipient is excused from cooperating with the child support enforcement process.
Examples of good cause reasons include cases involving rape, incest, and/or potential for harm to the custodial parent or child from the non-custodial parent. See the backside of the DFS Form 543 for the Good Cause claim.
The Wyoming CSP cannot approve or deny good cause. Refer the POWER applicant back to the local DFS office to complete the good cause request with the DFS Form 543 or refer the Medicaid applicant back to the Department of Health (DOH)Good cause is only granted by the DFS – Economic Assistance Division State Office (See Combined Manual §723(F)) or by the Department of Health – Division of Healthcare Financing.
Note: Once good cause is claimed, the case worker shall stop all child support action until a good cause determination is made, and the local DFS office shall not forward the DFS 543 Form to the local District CSP Office.
If good cause is approved, the child support case shall be closed. See Chapter 12 Closure for details. If good cause is denied and the applicant wishes to proceed with child support enforcement, the applicant shall meet with the Benefit Specialist and complete a new DFS 543 Form.
Special Circumstances – Medicaid Only Cases
As mentioned earlier and described in detail in Appendix 6.D – Medicaid Subtypes & Child Support Cooperation, certain Medicaid subtypes are required to cooperate with the Wyoming Child Support Program. Subtype Pregnant Qualified Woman and Pregnant Qualified Woman MAGI are not required to cooperate with the Wyoming Child Support Program until after the birth of the child.
The Department of Health makes referrals to the State Child Support Office for those Medicaid recipients that are required to cooperate. The District Child Support Office shall either send the DFS 543 form to Medicaid recipient or ask that they report to the District Office to complete the application process.
The District Child Support Office shall provide DFS Form 543) to all Medicaid applicants not required to cooperate but who request child support services. In cases where the District Child Support Office has received a WES referral on a Medicaid case not required to cooperate and the Medicaid recipient has not requested child support services, the District Child Support Office shall request that the State Child Support Office close the case as opened in error. See Chapter 12 Closure for opened in error closure details.
Within the subtypes listed above and in which the Department of Family Services has decided the family is “intact” and paternity is not an issue, those applicants are not required to cooperate with child support. If the family is not intact, the custodial parent shalll cooperate.
Any Medicaid applicant is entitled to receive child support services if the applicant requests the service. A legally responsible parent or caretaker may also request services for a child in his or her care who receives Medicaid benefits. Additionally, the caretaker of a child receiving Medicaid benefits is obligated to cooperate with the Wyoming CSP when a noncustodial parent is not providing medical support for a child or if the child’s paternity has not been established. Finally, the District CSP Office shall not charge a fee when an applicant is receiving Medicaid. See 5.2 Fees - Application Fees for further details.
If a case changes from a subtype requiring cooperation to one that does not, the case may be closed if the custodial parent requests closure in writing and no legal action has been filed.
Non-Public Assistance Cases
Any person with physical custody of a minor child may apply for child support services by completing the DFS Form 543.
Note: A minor may not apply for services to enforce a child support obligation where the minor is the child involved in the case.
Locate Only Requests
Under very specific circumstances, the Wyoming CSP may accept an application for locate only services. Not only shall an applicant complete, sign, and date the child support application, but the applicant shall be an authorized person. An authorized person for purposes of locate only services is:
1. An agent or attorney licensed to practice law in Wyoming who has the duty or authority to enforce a child custody or visitation determination;
2. A court or agent of the court with jurisdiction to make or enforce a child custody or visitation determination; or
3. An agent of the United States or State of Wyoming with the authority to investigate, enforce, or commence criminal prosecution for the unlawful taking of a child.
In the case of parental kidnapping, the application shall be approved by the Wyoming Attorney General’s office and accompanied by a sworn statement indicating the locate information sought through the Federal Parent Locator Services (FPLS) is for the sole purpose of enforcing a federal or state law with the respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child.
Locate only requests are handled by the State CSP Office.
Non-custodial Parent Application
Any person can apply for child support services including the non-custodial parent or alleged father.
Note: If the non-custodial parent applies for services, the non-custodial parent can also request closure. While the non-custodial parent is obviously not the custodial parent, the appropriate closure reason is “CP Requests Closure”. See Chapter 12 Closure for more details.
When a child is placed in state custody, the local DFS office shall complete a child support application (DFS Form 543) for each parent and forward it to the District CSP Office. For more details on foster care intake, see 13.2 Foster Care – Intake.
Another state may request two types of intergovernmental action:
1) Full service, or
2) Limited services.
When another state requests services, full or limited, the transmittal is sent to the Wyoming Central Registry. Central Registry shall ensure the transmittal is complete and create the POSSE case. For more details on intergovernmental intake, see Chapter 11 Intergovernmental (11.3.1 Responding Intake).
Last Revised Date
April 29, 2020