Thomas v. Thomas, Nos. 95-181

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtBefore GOLDEN; GOLDEN
Citation913 P.2d 854
Docket Number95-210,Nos. 95-181
Decision Date18 March 1996
PartiesLeisa THOMAS, Appellant (Plaintiff), v. Gary THOMAS, Appellee (Defendant). Marva A. JACKSON, Appellant (Plaintiff-Obligee), v. John M. JACKSON, Appellee (Defendant-Obligor).

Page 854

913 P.2d 854
Leisa THOMAS, Appellant (Plaintiff),
v.
Gary THOMAS, Appellee (Defendant).
Marva A. JACKSON, Appellant (Plaintiff-Obligee),
v.
John M. JACKSON, Appellee (Defendant-Obligor).
Nos. 95-181, 95-210.
Supreme Court of Wyoming.
March 18, 1996.

Eric A. Easton, Natrona County Attorney; William Chambers, Natrona County Child Support Enforcement, Casper, for appellants.

Before GOLDEN, C.J., and THOMAS, MACY, TAYLOR and LEHMAN, JJ.

GOLDEN, Chief Justice.

In these consolidated cases, the custodial parents appeal a district court's decisions modifying two child support decrees by lowering the age of majority for child support purposes from age nineteen to age eighteen.

We reverse and remand.

ISSUES

Appellants Leisa Thomas and Marva Jackson present the same issue for our review:

Where before the effective date of a statute changing the age of majority from nineteen (19) to eighteen (18) years a child support order specified 19 years as the age at which the divorced father's duty to make support payments would end, was the District Court in error in terminating the duty of support at the new age of majority?

Appellees Gary Thomas and John Jackson did not file briefs.

FACTS

Leisa and Gary Thomas were divorced on August 19, 1992. Leisa Thomas was awarded custody of their minor child born on January 7, 1977. Gary Thomas was directed to pay child support in an order that stated:

Page 855

Child Support: Defendant should be, and he hereby is, ordered to pay reasonable child support in the sum of $300 per month for the support of the parties' minor child. The Court finds that it would be unjust to follow the child support guidelines established in Section 20-6-304, Wyoming Statutes, in this case. Defendant shall pay child support on or before the 5th day of each month, commencing with August, 1992, and continuing each and every month thereafter until the minor child reaches the age of 19, is otherwise emancipated, or until further Order of the Court.

Gary Thomas failed to make child support payments for several months in 1994 and 1995. Following his request for modification, the district court upheld the current child support, found him in arrears, but found that the divorce decree should be amended, apparently to reflect that the age of majority was changed by the Wyoming Legislature, effective July 1, 1993, reducing it from nineteen years to eighteen years of age.

Marva and John Jackson were divorced on December 30, 1987. Marva Jackson was awarded custody of their four minor children, aged fourteen, twelve, eleven, and nine years. The child support decree ordered John Jackson to:

pay child support in the amount of $125.00 per month per child for a total of $500.00 per month beginning December 1, 1987.......

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3 practice notes
  • Peterson v. Wyoming Game and Fish Com'n, No. 97-182.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • November 5, 1999
    ...968, 971 (Wyo. 1994). Statutory interpretation involves a question of law, and our review in such a case is plenary. Thomas v. Thomas, 913 P.2d 854, 855 (Wyo.1996); Butts v. Wyoming State Bd. of Architects, 911 P.2d 1062, 1065 (Wyo.1996). No deference is accorded to the decision of the dist......
  • Garver v. Garver, No. 97-344
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • May 25, 1999
    ...in a modification action, to redirect child support payments to an adult detention facility presents a question of law. Thomas v. Thomas, 913 P.2d 854, 855 (Wyo.1996). Questions of law are subject to de novo review. If the district court's decision is in accordance with law, it is affirmed;......
  • Jordan v. Brackin, No. 02-260.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • November 21, 2003
    ...followed. DISCUSSION [¶ 7] In 1993, the Wyoming legislature changed the age of majority from nineteen to eighteen.1 Thomas v. Thomas, 913 P.2d 854, 855 (Wyo.1996). Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 20-2-313 (LexisNexis 2003) provides for the cessation of a child-support obligation when the child reaches th......
3 cases
  • Peterson v. Wyoming Game and Fish Com'n, No. 97-182.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • November 5, 1999
    ...968, 971 (Wyo. 1994). Statutory interpretation involves a question of law, and our review in such a case is plenary. Thomas v. Thomas, 913 P.2d 854, 855 (Wyo.1996); Butts v. Wyoming State Bd. of Architects, 911 P.2d 1062, 1065 (Wyo.1996). No deference is accorded to the decision of the dist......
  • Garver v. Garver, No. 97-344
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • May 25, 1999
    ...in a modification action, to redirect child support payments to an adult detention facility presents a question of law. Thomas v. Thomas, 913 P.2d 854, 855 (Wyo.1996). Questions of law are subject to de novo review. If the district court's decision is in accordance with law, it is affirmed;......
  • Jordan v. Brackin, No. 02-260.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • November 21, 2003
    ...followed. DISCUSSION [¶ 7] In 1993, the Wyoming legislature changed the age of majority from nineteen to eighteen.1 Thomas v. Thomas, 913 P.2d 854, 855 (Wyo.1996). Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 20-2-313 (LexisNexis 2003) provides for the cessation of a child-support obligation when the child reaches th......

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