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The legal side of a divorce is something that must be carried out perfectly, adhering to a very strict set of laws and regulations. While the emotional side of the process can be stressful, the best tip you can get is this: You must put that emotional part aside and work with your legal team so that you fully understand all of the laws and regulations, thus eliminating any extra stress that could be created through simple mistakes. This also helps you get the outcome that you desire. Below are the basics; take a moment to review them before moving forward.
How long have you lived in Wyoming? If you just got to the state, you may not be able to file for divorce, as either you or your spouse has to have been in Wyoming for two months (60 days) prior to filing.
In Wyoming, an equal division of assets -— with 50 percent to one party and 50 percent to the other —- is not the goal. This is not a community property state. Instead, an equitable division will be sought. Generally speaking, this just means that the judge has to decide that the division is fair. Property is most often considered the property of you or your spouse, instead of looking at the two of you as a single couple who owns everything together. For example, if your spouse earns more than you, you may not get as large of a share of your accumulated wealth, as the judge may consider most of it to actually be your spouse's capital.
When many people want to get divorced, they have a set reason for it, such as a spouse who wronged them in some way. Legally speaking, this does not matter in Wyoming, seeing as how it uses no-fault divorce laws. You don't get to tell the judge why you want to get divorced or to use that as leverage -— except in child custody cases in which the reason for the divorce also impacts the child. With a no-fault divorce, irreconcilable differences are most often used as the grounds.
Unless there is a reason to deny it to you, the court is going to try to give you joint custody of your children. If both parents remain involved —- even if physical custody duties do naturally fall to one parent more than the other -— that is seen as the best outcome. This means that you still have to make decisions as a couple, even after the split, when working with legal custody. You do have the right to ask for sole custody, as does your spouse, but getting it will require showing why it is a better option than the preferred joint custody.
Additionally, you may have a right to child support; your child certainly does. Both parents are going to be asked to contribute, though the amount that each parent makes will play into it. If one spouse earns ten times what the other spouse earns, for instance, he or she may be asked to provide more. Also, the spouse with whom the child lives may have to contribute less financially since other costs will arise —- such as simply buying food —- during the process of raising the child. Each case is different, and the judge will examine many factors.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified divorce lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local divorce attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.