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TSH v. State, ex rel., Department of Family Services

Supreme Court of Wyoming

December 7, 2017

TSR, f/k/a TSH, Appellant (Respondent),
v.
STATE OF WYOMING, ex rel., DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY SERVICES, CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT DIVISION, Appellee (Petitioner).

         Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County The Honorable William J. Edelman, Judge.

          Representing Appellant: Rennie Polidora, Jacobs Polidora, LLC, Laramie, Wyoming.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General; Misha Westby, Deputy Attorney General; Jill E. Kucera, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Wendy S. Ross, Senior Assistant Attorney General.

          Before BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.

          BURKE, CHIEF JUSTICE.

         [¶1] Appellant, TSR, appeals from the district court's order modifying child support with respect to her daughter, LLB. She claims the court abused its discretion in determining child support. We affirm.

         ISSUES

         [¶2] Appellant presents the following issues:

1. Whether the District Court abused its discretion by using the matrix for two (2) children rather than one (1) child in W.S. § 20-2-304 when it calculated a deviation from the presumptive child support pursuant to W.S. § 20-2- 307(b).
2. Whether the District Court erred when it did not make specific findings in its Order for the reasons it granted a deviation pursuant to W.S. § 20-2-307(b).

         FACTS

         [¶3] Appellant's daughter, LLB, was born in 2004. Her relationship with LLB's father, DLB, ended shortly after LLB's birth. In 2007, Mother petitioned to establish paternity, child custody, visitation, and child support relating to LLB. Following a hearing, the district court entered an order that established DLB as LLB's father, gave primary custody to Mother, awarded Father visitation, and ordered Father to pay child support in the amount of $484.30 per month, with an additional payment towards an arrearage of $100.00 per month.

         [¶4] Father had another child, KSB, in 2008. He and the child's mother subsequently married, and they live together as an intact family. Father fell behind on his child support obligation to Mother due to economic difficulties and his obligation to support his second child.

         [¶5] In 2011, Mother and Father entered into an agreement modifying Father's child support obligation. Pursuant to the agreement, the district court determined that Father's presumptive monthly child support was $660.98. The parties agreed, however, that the court should deviate from the presumptive child support amount because Father was financially responsible for a later-born child living with him. Accordingly, the court reduced Father's monthly child ...


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