2021 Wyoming Statutes
Title 20 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 3 - Desertion of Spouse or Children
Section 20-3-101 - Desertion Generally; Penalty; Public Welfare Funds; Prisoner's Earnings; Temporary Order for Support.

Universal Citation: WY Stat § 20-3-101 (2021)

20-3-101. Desertion generally; penalty; public welfare funds; prisoner's earnings; temporary order for support.

(a) Any spouse who, without just cause or lawful excuse, deserts the other spouse or fails or refuses to provide adequately for the support and maintenance of the other spouse and who at the time of leaving, failure or refusal is or thereafter becomes in necessitous circumstances is guilty of a crime, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both.

(b) Any person who without just cause or legal excuse intentionally fails, refuses or neglects to provide adequate support which the person knows or reasonably should know the person is legally obligated to provide to a child under eighteen (18) years of age is guilty of:

(i) A misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both;

(ii) A misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not less than seven (7) days nor more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both, if:

(A) The defendant has previously been convicted under this subsection; or

(B) The support has been ordered by any court and the defendant has failed to pay the support obligation within sixty (60) days after the date payment was due.

(c) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under subsection (a) or (b) of this section that the person was unable to provide adequate support but did provide such support as was within that person's ability and means. A person may not demonstrate inability to provide support if the person is employable but, without reasonable excuse, fails diligently to seek employment, terminates employment or reduces earnings or assets. A person who raises an affirmative defense has the burden of proving the defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

(d) Support of spouse or child by public welfare funds or from any source other than from the other spouse or parent as the case may be, is not just cause or lawful excuse for the spouse or parent to fail to provide support under this section.

(e) Repealed By Laws 2014, Ch. 117, § 2.

(f) Proceedings under this section may be instituted upon verified complaint against any person guilty of the offenses.

(g) At any time before trial, upon petition of the complainant and notice to the defendant, the court may enter a temporary order providing for the support of the deserted spouse or children or both, pendente lite, and may punish for violation of the order as for contempt.

(h) This state has jurisdiction over an offense under this section if conduct constituting any element of the offense or a result of that conduct occurs within this state.

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