Basic information about divorce in Wyoming. You will find more information about divorce, including the risks of taking your children out of state while a divorce is pending, on our general Divorce page. To watch brief videos about divorce in Spanish with English sub-titles, go to our Videos page. Lastly, learn more about the court process on our Preparing for Court – By Yourself page.
- What are the residency requirements for divorce in Wyoming?
- What are the grounds for divorce in Wyoming?
- Can I get alimony?
- Can I have my marriage annulled?
- Can I file for a legal separation?
- What are the basic steps for filing for divorce?
- Where can I find additional information about divorce in Wyoming?
What are the residency requirements for divorce in Wyoming?
A judge in district court1 can grant you a divorce in Wyoming if:
- you or your spouse lived in Wyoming for 60 days before filing for divorce; or
- you and your spouse were married in Wyoming and one of you has lived there from the time you were married until the date that you file for divorce.2
1 WY ST § 20-2-104
2 WY ST § 20-2-107(a)
What are the grounds for divorce in Wyoming?
Grounds are legally acceptable reasons for divorce. A judge can grant you a divorce for the following reasons:
- irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse;1 or
- incurable insanity if your spouse has been confined to a mental hospital for at least two years before you file for divorce. In cases of incurable insanity, your spouse will be given a guardian to help him/her through the court process and a county attorney to defend him/her in court. You will be responsible for paying the court fees, attorney’s fees, and guardian’s fees.2
1 WY ST § 20-2-104
2 WY ST § 20-2-105
Can I get alimony?
Alimony (also called maintenance) is financial support paid by, or to, your spouse and can be awarded when a divorce is granted. The judge has wide discretion (choice) about whether or not to grant alimony.1 When making a decision about alimony, a judge will consider several factors to make a fair decision, including (but not limited to):
- the ability of the spouse who is paying alimony to pay;2
- the ability of the spouse who is paying alimony to earn money in the future;3
- child support responsibilities;
- division of property; and
- other financial matters.4
1Sellers v. Sellers, 775 P.2d 1029 (1989)
2 WY ST § 20-2-114
3Muller v. Muller, 838 P.2d 198 (1992)
4Reavis v. Reavis, 955 P.2d 428 (1998)
Can I have my marriage annulled?
You can ask for your marriage to be annulled in Wyoming for these reasons:
- either you or your spouse was already married to someone else at the time of your marriage ceremony;
- you and your spouse are related by blood as siblings, parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, uncle/aunt and niece/nephew, or first cousins;
- your consent to the marriage was obtained by force;
- your consent to the marriage was obtained by fraud;
- either you or your spouse was mentally incompetent at the time of your marriage, as long as you did not continue to live together as spouses after regaining mental competency;
- your spouse is unable to have sexual relations with you due to physical incapacity, as long as you bring your case for annulment within two years of getting married; or
- you were under age 16 (“the age of consent”) at the time of the marriage and all of the following are true:
- your marriage was not approved by a judge;
- you separated from your spouse while under age 18; and
- you did not continue to live together as spouses once you reached age 18.1
An action for annulment based on the circumstances described in number seven above may be brought by your parent or guardian if you are still underage.2
The judge in a case for annulment has the power to decide issues of custody, child support, and the division of property.3
1 WY ST §§ 20-2-101(a), (b), (f); 20-1-102
2 WY ST § 20-2-101(d)
3 WY ST § 20-2-101(g)
Can I file for a legal separation?
If you have the grounds to file for a divorce, you may choose instead to file for a legal separation. This is done by filing a complaint in the same manner as for a divorce but asking to be allowed to live separately from your spouse rather than to be divorced.1 The judge in a case for separation has the power to decide issues of custody, alimony, child support, and the division of property. The judge also has the option of imposing a time limit on the separation, or of making it permanent.2
Getting an order of separation means that your marriage is still valid, which some people prefer for religious or personal reasons. If you get an order of separation, you may file to end it at a later date if you change your mind and want to resume living with your spouse.2
1 WY ST § 20-2-106(a)
2 WY ST § 20-2-106(c)
What are the basic steps for filing for divorce?
While divorce laws vary by state, here are the basic steps that a person may have to follow to obtain a divorce:
- First, you or your spouse must meet the residency requirements of the state you want to file in.
- Second, you must have “grounds” (a legally acceptable reason) to end your marriage.
- Third, you must file the appropriate divorce papers and have copies sent to your spouse - for the exact rules for serving the papers, contact your local courthouse or an attorney.
- Fourth, if your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, then s/he will have the opportunity to file papers telling her/his side. In his/her response, the other party may express his/her opinion challenging the divorce, asking that it be granted under different grounds or letting the judge know that s/he agrees to the divorce. If your spouse contests the divorce, then you may have a series of court appearances to sort the issues out. Also, if a certain period of time passes and your spouse does not sign the papers or file any papers of his/her own, you may be able to proceed with the divorce as an uncontested divorce anyway. (Speak to a lawyer in your state about how long you have to wait to see if your spouse answers before you can continue with the divorce.)
- Fifth, if there are property, assets, a pension, debts, or anything else that you need divided, or if you need financial support from your spouse, then these issues may have to be dealt with during the divorce or else you may lose your chance to deal with these issues. The issues may be worked out during settlement negotiations and incorporated into the divorce decree or in a series of court hearings during the divorce. Custody and child support may also be decided as part of your divorce.
Where can I find additional information about divorce in Wyoming?
The Wyoming Judicial Branch provides court forms that you may need if you wish to get a divorce.
Equal Justice Wyoming has answers to frequently asked questions about divorce, including questions about the grounds for divorce in Wyoming, spousal support (alimony), and property distribution.
WomensLaw.org is unrelated to the above organizations and cannot vouch for the accuracy of their sites. We provide these links for your information only.
You will find more information about divorce, including the risks of taking your children out of state while a divorce is pending, on our general Divorce page. To watch brief videos about divorce in Spanish with English sub-titles, go to our Videos page. Lastly, learn more about the court process on our Preparing for Court – By Yourself page.