Sears v. Sears (Wyoming 2021)

2021 WY 20 (2021)
February 2021

An award of retroactive support is subject to the court’s discretion. The parents filed for divorce, and the district court didn’t order child support during the pending action. The parents agreed to a custody arrangement during the pendency of the action. In the order accepting the arrangement, the court didn’t order support and noted the parents were sharing custody and splitting uncovered medical expenses. The father was also paying the children’s health insurance. The final divorce decree ordered the father to pay support going forward but didn’t award retroactive support. The mother appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed the child support order. Mother argued the trial court didn’t specify the father’s payment of her bills was in lieu of child support. The Supreme Court found the mother’s argument relied on testimony and evidence from the bench trial, but she didn’t designate the bench trial transcript as part of the record.  The Court also noted the mother filed a motion earlier in the proceeding that indicated the child support order in place at the time factored in the father’s payment of her car insurance and cell phone bill.