Getting Child Support in Montana
One of the main considerations in any divorce settlement, where children are involved, is the question of child support. Who will pay what, when, and where? In the State of Montana there are very specific guidelines concerning the care and welfare of children and their support. Both parents are ultimately held responsible for the needs of the child, both emotionally and physically, but the non-custodial parent will be the one who will deliver a set amount each month to the primary caregiver (custodial parent).
Considerations in Regard to Child Support
The court takes into account many factors when determining child support including, but not limited to the wishes of the parents and the wishes of the child. Once custody is established, then support guidelines are enacted. If it is determined that significant adjustments will be required if the child were to move away from their current situation, then the courts may determine that the non-custodial parent provide adequate support to insure that the child is not removed from the situation until they are mature enough to make a move.
Child Support Determinations
In order to come up with a set amount for child support, the state of Montana will require that a financial affidavit be filled out, as well as other forms. Regardless of marital conduct, the support will reflect the best interests of the child. Factors that they consider when setting the amount include financial resources of both parents and the child, the standard of living that the child held previously, the emotional and educational needs of the child, the age of the child, how many children are in the family, costs of daycare and after school programs, and any medial insurances.
The total cost of the child support is gleaned from the worksheets, then put into a calculator that tallies up what the non-custodial (NC) parent will pay each month. A quick estimate can be found here: http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/montana/
Applying for Child Support
It should be noted that those applicants who are already receiving public assistance (TANF) have already been entered into the system, so there is a separate route that you must take. The guidelines can be accessed here: http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/csed/packet/guidelines.shtml
If you are not currently receiving public assistance, then you will need to upload and fill out the following application: http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/csed/packet/guidelines.shtml It can be submitted online as well. Three years ago the State of Montana implemented a ReliaCard system that works much like a prepaid Visa card. When child support is paid by the NC, then the amount is verified, then loaded onto the primary caregiver’s card. There is no charge for the card and does not require any sort of credit check or credit approval. In most instances, it can take as little as 4 weeks for finalization of court orders to begin and child support payments to be received. Montana takes a dim view of those who shirk their responsibilities to their children and has a full company of procedures in place to enforce the child support laws.