1B. Answer & Counterclaim to Complaint for Divorce
**FOLLOW THIS STEP IF: Your spouse did not include something in the Complaint which you would like the court to resolve, OR if you would like to ask for specfic remedies. For example, if you want to take back your previous name, want a specific piece of property, or want alimony.**
NOTE: Additional information on the Evidence to be presented at the hearing/trial, Child Support, and Custody and Visitation, can be found in the instructions for Divorce (With Minor Children) - Plaintiff. As a reminder, the packet and forms are available through the Self-Help Resources on the Wyoming Judicial Branch website. The packet can also be purchased at the Clerk of the District Courtin every Wyoming County.
**We have included examples of all of the forms you may need with some helpful hints at the bottom of this page.**
You will need to complete and file with the Clerk the following forms:
1. Answer & Counterclaim for Divorce. An Answer & Counterclaim for Divorce responds to the Complaint for Divorce and gives you an opportunity to tell the court what you want to happen with the divorce.
Answer. When answering/replying to a Counterclaim, you must "admit" or "deny" each paragraph. If you do not have enough information to either admit or deny, state that in your reply. If you disagree with something the defendant is claiming or asking for in the Counterclaim, and you fail to "deny" it, the judge can find that you "agree" with it because you did not address it. **IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ADDRESS EACH CLAIM**
Request for Relief. In the Counterclaim portion, you will ask the Judge to give you what you want from the divorce. Be sure to be specific about what it is you would like.
If you fail to respond to the Complaint within 20 days (30 days if you live outside of Wyoming) after you receive it, the judge can enter a default and give your spouse everything that he/she asked for in the Answer and Counterclaim. **IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO REPLY BEFORE THE 20 DAYS ARE UP**
2. The Plaintiff MUST Reply to Your Counterclaim. The Plaintiff must reply to the Answer and Counterclaim for Divorce. If you file an Answer &Counterclaim for Divorce, the Plaintiff will have twenty (20) days to reply to your Answer & Counterclaim for Divorce by filing a Reply to Counterclaim. The Plaintiff will admit or deny teh separate allegations, or paragraphs, in your Answer & Counterclaim for Divorce.If the Plaintiff fails to reply to the Counterclaim, you may be entitled to file Default paperwork seeking the relief you requested in your Answer & Counterclaim for Divorce. The Default paperwork can be found at your local Clerk of the District Court or online at the Wyoming Judicial Branch.
3. If the plaintiff DOES NOT file an answer/reply to your Counterclaim, you will need to file the following forms with the court (you can find these forms online at theWyoming Judicial Branch and samples in the Divorce with Children - Plaintiff classroom). :
Application for Entry of Default
Affidavit in Support of Default
Entry of Default. If the Application for Entry of Default and the Affidavit in Support of Default are correct, the Clerk will sign this.
** Once the Entry of Default is signed by the Clerk, complete the forms and steps below **
Confidential Financial Affidavit. Both parties are required to complete the Confidential Financial Affidavitwith all required documents attached. If the plaintiff does NOT file a Confidential Financial Affidavit, you will need to complete an Affidavit of Imputed Income to show the Court how much money the plaintiff earns.
Affidavit for Divorce Without Appearance of Parties.
Order for Income Withholding. This Order is REQUIRED by statute in every case where child support has been ordered.
Income Withholding for Support. This form is required if you need to have the child support taken directly out of the other parent's paycheck.
Decree of Divorce - MAKE SURE TO MARK “DEFAULT” ON DECREE.This form will need to be filled out completely, signed by both you and the plaintiff and both of your signatures must be notarized. In addition to signing the Decree of Divorce (with Children), you should also initial each page of the Decree of Divorce (with Children) to verify that each page contains the terms you agreed upon.
4.Take an original and two (2) copies of each of the above documents for filing with the Clerk and two (2) addressed, stamped envelopes (one addressed to you and one addressed to the Defendant) with enough postage to cover the cost of mailing the Decree of Divorce to you and the Defendant. A copy of any documents you file (other than the Decree of Divorce) must be sent to the Plaintiff on the date that you filled out on the Certificate of Service for each document.
If a hearing is NOT required by the Court, the Clerk will mail you a copy of your Decree of Divorce if accepted by the Court.
If a hearing is required by the Court, follow the next steps:
Only follow this step if the Court requires a hearing before it enters your Decree of Divorce!If the Court requires a hearing before entering a Decree of Divorce, then you will also need to file and do the following:
Request for Setting - You will need to complete and file this form.
Order Setting Hearing - You will need to complete and file this form.
Two (2) addressed, stamped envelopes for you and the Plaintiff so the Court can send you each a copy of the Order Setting Hearing .
Attend the Hearing. You will need to present basic evidence at this hearing. Please see the packet of forms for Divorce (with Children) - Plaintiff for additional information on presenting this information to the Court.
5. If the plaintiff files an answer/reply to your Counterclaim, then the plaintiff will file the forms in 3 and 4 (except for the default paperwork.)
**Your divorce is final when the Decree of Divorce has been signed by the Judge and filed by the Clerk.**