KIMBERLY D. RAMBO, Appellant (Plaintiff),
JEFFREY D. RAMBO, Appellee (Defendant).
from the District Court of Teton County The Honorable Timothy
C. Day, Judge
Representing Appellant: Lea Kuvinka, Kuvinka & Kuvinka,
P.C., Jackson, Wyoming.
Representing Appellee: Heather Noble, Attorney at Law,
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
Appellant, Kimberly Rambo ("Mother"), appeals from
an order holding Jeffrey Rambo ("Father"), in
contempt of court for, among other things, failing to pay
child support pursuant to the parties' divorce decree.
The district court ordered that, in order to purge the
contempt, Father was to pay not less than $50.00 per month
towards the child support arrearages. The court further
ordered that interest would not accrue on the delinquent
amount as long as Father made all required payments. Mother
claims the district court erred by failing to enter judgment
for the arrearages and by failing to impose a 10% penalty on
the delinquent child support under Wyo. Stat. Ann. §
1-16-103(b). She also contends the district court erred by
restricting her ability to collect past due child support. We
conclude that Mother had a judgment on the child support
arrears as they became due and that the district court did
not have discretion to prevent Mother from executing on that
judgment. We also conclude Mother is entitled to interest on
the arrears. Accordingly, we reverse.
Mother presents the following issue:
Did the district court err when it failed to treat delinquent
child support as a judgment by operation of law?
Mother and Father married in California in 1994 and divorced
in 2013, while residing in Teton County, Wyoming. They have
two children, born in 1997 and 1999. The parties entered into
a settlement agreement which gave Mother primary custody of
the parties' two children, subject to Father's
visitation. Father agreed to pay child support in the amount
of $600.00 per month. Father subsequently relocated to
This matter began in June 2015, when Mother filed a motion
for an order to show cause as to why Father should not be
held in contempt of court. Mother asserted that Father had
failed to pay amounts owed under the divorce decree for the
children's educational expenses, health insurance, and
vehicle maintenance, as well as back tax obligations and
child support. Father, acting pro se, responded to
the motion. He stated that he was in a "difficult,
unforeseen" financial situation and agreed that he was
delinquent in paying for certain expenses. Father disputed
the educational expenses in light of Mother's decision to
enroll their younger child in private high school. However,
he agreed that he was delinquent in making child support
payments, and asserted that neither party had submitted
financial affidavits as required in the settlement agreement.
Father also petitioned to modify child support.
Mother subsequently filed an amended motion for an order to
show cause. Father also filed a motion for an order to show
cause, asserting that Mother had violated various
co-parenting provisions of the parties' settlement
agreement. The court held a hearing on the cross-motions for
orders to show cause and Father's petition for
modification of child support in February 2016. Following the
hearing, the court entered an order finding Father in
contempt for failing to pay $586.71 for car tires, $15,
961.09 for a joint tax liability, $4, 087.52 for the younger
child's education and extracurricular expenses, $8,
524.00 for the older child's education expenses, and $6,
942.04 for healthcare expenses. The court entered judgment on
these amounts. The court also found Father in contempt for
failure to pay child support. With respect to Father's
child support obligations, the court stated as follows:
To purge his contempt of court with respect to child support
arrears, Father shall also pay the arrears of $15, 600 (which
accrued through June 2015) and additional arrears that have
accrued since his motion to modify was filed in July 2015 as
quickly as possible and shall pay not less than $50 per month
toward arrears, in addition to his monthly child support
obligation, every month until the arrears are paid in full.
After the parties' youngest child turns 18 and graduates
from high school (whichever is later), Father shall continue
to pay $300 per month until the arrears are paid in full. To
compel compliance, as long as Father makes his child support
payments and the $50 payment towards arrears (or the $300 per
month after SJR turns 18 and graduates from high school), no
interest shall accrue because the arrears have not been
reduced to judgment. If any payment is not timely made,
Mother may file a motion for an entry of judgment on the
remaining amount of arrears, along with proof of the
remaining arrears (i.e., a report from the Clerk of District
Court's office or from Child Support Enforcement
Services) and a proposed order for the Court's signature.
Upon entry of judgment on the remaining arrears, statutory
interest of 10% on the ...