In the process of divorce many questions come up, and there are many hard questions to answer about child support specifically. Here are some more frequently asked.
Montana Child Support Guidelines
Child support is money paid by a parent to help pay for a child’s food, housing, clothing, and other needs.
A child support order can be issued by the court when a dissolution or parenting case is filed, or by the Montana Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) upon request from a parent or if a parent is receiving cash welfare benefits for the child.
Although Montana CSED is Montana’s agency for the determination and enforcement of child support, there are offices for child support enforcement in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
The Montana Child Support Guidelines provide a formula for calculating support, taking into account the amount of money considered to be reasonable and necessary to raise a child, the income of the parents, daycare expenses, insurance premiums, payment of uncovered medical expenses, and the amount of time a child spends with each parent.
Parents who are unemployed or under-employed may still be ordered to pay child support. Income can be imputed (i.e., assigned) to a parent based on his or her employment qualifications, work history, and prevailing job opportunities and earning levels in the community. Income will not be imputed to a parent who is disabled or otherwise unable to work.
When a dissolution or parenting action is filed with the court, the appropriate paperwork will be exchanged, the Child Support Guidelines will be applied and a determination of support will be made. If the other parent disagrees with the amount selected, that parent will have an opportunity to respond.
When Montana CSED sets support, it must send a notice to the responsible parent. If that parent disagrees with the amount selected, he must request a hearing. If he does not request a hearing, CSED may order the amount of support specified in the notice.
If support is ordered by the court, the responsible parent may be directed to pay through the Clerk of District Court’s Office or directly to the receiving parent. Montana CSED can collect money directly from the obligated parent’s employer, bank accounts, other income, income tax refunds, and can place liens on real and personal property. CSED can also suspend professional, occupational, recreational and driver’s licenses in the event that support isn’t paid. There are statutory limits to the amount of money that can be withheld from a parent’s wage.
No. Child support and parenting time are separate issues. You must abide by the conditions of your parenting or dissolution decree whether or not the other parent does. (As another example, the fact that a custodial parent may withhold visits isn’t a legal justification for withholding child support).
Child support orders can be modified if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the child support order was entered. If the order was set by the court, only the court can change the order. If the order was set by Montana CSED, CSED can change the order.
A support order remains in effect until a child reaches the age of majority, graduates from high school, or is otherwise emancipated, or until a parent requests a modification of support.
Hiring a Child Support Attorney
A professional divorce and child support attorney can help ensure your child is properly cared for in the event of a divorce.