Articles Posted in Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court modifying child support with respect to Mother’s daughter. In 2011, Mother and Father entered into an agreement modifying Father’s child support obligation. Approximately five years later, at Mother’s request, the Child Support Enforcement Program filed a petition to modify Father’s child support obligation. The district court entered an order modifying child support but granted a downward deviation from the presumptive child support. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion by using the matrix for two children rather than one child when it calculated a deviation from the presumptive child support; and (2) properly made specific findings in its order for the reasons it granted a deviation pursuant to Wyo. Stat. 20-2-307(b). View "TSR v. State, ex rel., Department of Family Services" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court striking RB’s appearance in the underlying adoption action and granting the foster parents’ petition for adoption of SSO, the biological son of RB. The adoption court determined that RB’s parental rights had previously been terminated, and therefore, RB had no standing to enter an appearance in the adoption case or to challenge the adoption. RB appealed the order granting the foster parents’ motion to strike his entry of appearance and objection to SSO’s adoption, and of the adoption order. The Supreme Court held (1) the district court properly struck RB’s appearance in the adoption action; and (2) because RB’s parental rights have been terminated, RB had no standing to object to or otherwise participate in the adoption. View "In re Adoption of SSO" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court’s order denying Appellants’ motion to intervene in custody proceedings relating to their granddaughter, EHD. The court held (1) in light of the facts of this case, the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in denying Appellants’ request to intervene; and (2) Appellants did not have standing to pursue their remaining arguments that the juvenile court abused its discretion in denying Appellants’ requests to be appointed to the multi-disciplinary team and in denying Appellants’ request that EHD be placed with them. View "MMH v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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In this appeal brought by Mother, the Supreme Court affirmed the divorce decree entered by the district court. The court held (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Father primary physical custody of the parties’ daughter; (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Mother’s motion to bifurcate the trial to separate the property distribution proceedings from child custody and support proceedings; and (3) this court declines to award sanctions under Wyo. R. App. P. 10.05(b), which authorizes the court to certify that there was no reasonable cause for an appeal and award attorney’s fees and damages. View "Ransom v. Ransom" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order modifying the parties’ divorce decree by transferring primary physical custody of the parties’ child to Mother. In granting Mother’s petition to modify custody, visitation and support, the district court concluded that Mother had demonstrated that a material change in circumstances had occurred since entry of the decree and it was in the child’s best interests to modify the decree and award custody to Mother. The court held (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that there had been a material change in circumstances that affected the child since entry of the divorce decree; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion by deciding that it was in the child’s best interests to award primary custody to Mother. View "Bishop v. Bishop" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The district court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded primary physical custody of the parties’ daughter to Father. After Mother and Father divorced, Mother remarried and announced her intent to relocate to southern Colorado. Both parties sought primary physical custody of their daughter. The district court found that the child’s best interests were served by Father having primary custody. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court’s findings provided the court with a reasoned explanation for the district court’s decision to separate the child from her siblings; and (2) the district court did not err in admitting into evidence two letters written by Mother’s older child describing the child’s complaints about her relationship with Mother and recounting various instances of conflict. View "Paden v. Paden" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling holding Husband in contempt and finding insufficient evidence to hold Wife in contempt. Both parties filed contempt motions alleging that the other party violated obligations imposed by both the divorce decree and a previous contempt ruling issued by the district court. In the first round of contempt motions filed by the parties, the district court found only Husband in contempt but ordered both parties to complete certain obligations. The Supreme Court held that there was no abuse of discretion in the district court’s ruling on the second contempt motions of Husband and Wife. View "Fowles v. Fowles" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court’s permanency order with regard to Mother’s child, an order that changed the permanency plan for the child from family reunification to adoption. The court held (1) despite the troubling delays in this neglect proceeding, Mother waived her due process and other claims relating to the change in permanency from reunification to adoption when she advocated the same change in permanency; and (2) the juvenile court did not err in refusing to designate the adoptive parents in the permanency order because determination of the adoptive parents is a matter for a separate proceeding. View "DM v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the termination of Mother’s parental rights with respect to two of her sons. The court held (1) the district court’s conclusions were amply supported by evidence, the accuracy of the district court’s conclusions was highly probable, and termination under Wyo. Stat. Ann. 14-2-309(a)(v) was supported by clear and convincing evidence; and (2) the district court’s closure of Mother’s termination trial was improper under Wyo. Const. art. I, 8, and because Mother did not direct the court to particularized facts showing that she was actually harmed or prejudiced by that error, the court was constrained to conclude that the error was harmless. View "LeBlanc v. State, Department of Family Services" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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In this divorce case, the Supreme Court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in dividing the marital assets and in denying Wife’s request for post-decree alimony of $2,000 per month for ten years. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in dividing the marital assets and liabilities as it did because this division was not one that shocks the conscience of the court or appears to be so unfair and inequitable that “reasonable people cannot abide it”; and (2) the district court acted within its discretion in deciding that alimony was unwarranted to even up the division of marital assets and liabilities. View "Porter v. Porter" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law