Divorce Information Guide
This guide is an introduction about the divorce process. If you have decided to represent yourself, it will guide you to materials available in the law library that may help you. The library reference department will assist you in locating information. No member of the law library staff can interpret legal materials. Materials referenced by the law librarian are intended as sources of information and are not warranted to supply definitive answers. As there are many resources available for locating legal information, it is recommended that first time law library users refer to a basic text on legal research (Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law) to get an overall view of the types of legal materials available and how to access and interpret them. People representing themselves are expected to do their work on their own. If you have legal questions, we recommend you consult an attorney. If you need an attorney, please contact the Wyoming State Bar Association http://www.wyomingbar.org/.
Divorce in Wyoming is an adversarial proceeding which means that one spouse must sue the other spouse for a divorce. The spouse who wants to initiate the divorce is called the plaintiff and files the action in the State District Court against the other spouse who is called the defendant. The defendant must be served with notice and the defendant has a right to respond to the divorce action and can counter sue the plaintiff for divorce.
Begin with the applicable Wyoming statutes:
It is also important to conform to the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure
(http://www.courts.state.wy.us/CourtRules_Entities.aspx?RulesPage=CivilProcedure.xml). Be careful not to miss deadlines. You may lose your legal rights if you do not act in a timely manner.
The Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys at Law provides for the unbundled practice of law.
This allows an attorney and client to agree that the lawyer will limit his representation to helping with a specific legal problem for a short time or for a particular purpose. The attorney may ask that you sign an agreement of Notice and Consent to Limited Representation.
Rule 1.2. Scope of Representation. http://www.courts.state.wy.us/CourtRules_Entities.aspx?RulesPage=AttorneysConduct.xml
Your local county library has print versions of Wyoming statutes and rules. The print set includes references to additional relevant Wyoming materials which you may find useful.
Divorce, child support, and child custody forms are available on the Wyoming Judicial Branch web site: http://www.courts.state.wy.us/DandCS.aspx. The District Court in each county of Wyoming also has available a packet of forms for sale for divorce and related proceedings. This link directs you to a list of contact information for each court: http://www.courts.state.wy.us/DistrictCourtDirectory.aspx. Neither the district clerks nor the law librarians will be able to advise you about how to fill in the forms.
American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms (KF8836 .A45) Divorce and Separation, volume 8B, contains forms that may be used in court proceedings concerning divorce and separation. Included are forms of pleadings initiating the action for dissolution of marriage and forms that may be used to seek temporary alimony, child support and custody of children, temporary injunctions and restraining orders. Every divorce is unique, therefore the forms provided in these books must be tailored to meet your needs.
Resources for divorce at the Wyoming State Law Library include:
- American Jurisprudence (KF154 .A42) volumes 24 and 24A provides a general discussion of divorce including spousal and child support, child custody and the division of marital property.
- Corpus Juris Secundum (KF154 .C56) volumes 27A, 27B and 27C also provides a general discussion regarding spousal and child support, custody of the children and division of the marital property.
"How to" Books:
File Your Own Divorce (KF535 .Z9 H35) is designed to enable you to obtain a divorce without hiring a lawyer. Worksheets and forms are located in the Appendix. They can be completed and filed by you or it can help you prepare to work with an attorney which could possibly reduce your legal fees. This title is also available in Spanish.
The American Bar Association Guide to Family Law (KF505.Z9 A47) explains law in simple, easy-to-understand language.
Nolo's Pocket Guide to Family Law (KF503.6 .L46) provides quick, clear answers to questions about child support, custody and visitation, marital property, annulment, adoption and living together.
Family Law and Practice (KF505 .F34) is a 6 volume set which is regularly made current by updates. Volume 1, chapter 6 covers domestic violence, volume 3, chapter 32 and 33 covers child custody, visitation and support, volume 4, chapter 43 covers divorce for military families.
Note: If you are unable to visit the library in Cheyenne, you can borrow books from the law library through the Interlibrary Loan program.
WEX: http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/divorce - is a public-access dictionary and encyclopedia providing objective useful information.
Wyoming State Law Library
Supreme Court Building
2301 Capitol Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002