9.4 Contempt

There are two types of contempt actions – civil and criminal.  This section focuses on civil contempt.  A contempt action is not the first enforcement action taken.  In most instances, a contempt action is used in those cases where the non-custodial parent’s pay record is sporadic; the non-custodial parent is unemployed or self-employed; and/or other enforcement remedies have been ineffective.  The purpose of a contempt action is to encourage the non-custodial parent to pay his or her child support obligation by requiring the non-custodial parent to appear in District Court and explain to the judge why he or she has failed to comply with the child support order.

A contempt action is a purely judicial remedy.  In order to proceed with a contempt action in Wyoming, the District Court shall have:

Additionally, the District CSE Office Attorney shall be prepared to prove the non-custodial parent:

A contempt action may be used to enforce the child support obligation, the medical support order, or both.



In order to proceed with a contempt action, the case worker shall:

Note:  The case manager will provide the findings of the screening for the non-custodial parent's ability to pay to the CSP Attorney.  The CSP Attorney will in turn provide this information  to the Court.  This includes information regarding the non-custodial parent's application for disability benefits or any documented mental health issues.  

Court Hearings

Initial Hearing

During the pre-court negotiation meeting between the District CSE Office Attorney and the non-custodial parent, or at the initial Order to Show Cause hearing and based upon the evidence provided, the District Court Judge may order, or the District CSE Office Attorney and non-custodial parent may agree, to the following:

The District Court often provides the non-custodial parent with the ability to purge himself or herself from the contempt finding by meeting certain requirements.  Those requirements include but are not limited to:

Subsequent Hearing

If a non-custodial parent fails to meet the requirements of the initial contempt order, the District Court may do the following:

Party Represented by an Attorney

If an attorney represents a party, the District CSE Office will 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 9.A – Communication with Persons Represented by Counsel.

Cross Reference

Appendix 9.A – Communication with Persons Represented by Counsel

Version Number


Last Revised Date

November 15, 2017