Wyoming has a “decree of judicial separation” instead of "legal separation" that is available for couples who wish to live separately but maintain the marriage.
Wyoming Statute §20-2-106 says that "[w]hen circumstances are such that grounds for a divorce exist, the aggrieved party may institute a proceeding by complaint in the same manner as if petitioner were seeking a decree of divorce, but praying instead to be allowed to live separate and apart from the offending party". The same law goes on to say "[t]he court may make such orders as appear just, including custody of the children, provision for support, disposition of the properties of the parties, alimony, restraint of one or both spouses during litigation and restraint of disposition of property. The court may impose a time limitation on the order or render a perpetual separation. The parties may at any time move the court to be discharged from the order."
In order to obtain a Decree of Judicial Separation you must:
- Meet the state’s residency requirements,
- File a petition with the local Family Court,
- Come to an agreement with your spouse on issues such as child support, spousal support, alimony and property distribution,
- Attend a hearing before the Family Court.
Please note that since a decree of judicial separation does not end the marriage, your spouse will still have estate rights should you die while separated.
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