Montana Child Support

How to apply for child support in Montana

Child support in Montana is designed to provide an adequate allowance towards a child’s shelter, clothing, food and other needs. The total needs of the individual child are typically divided proportionately between both parents based on their ability to provide for these needs. The Child Support Enforcement Division achieves this by establishing paternity, enforcing child support orders and increasing the overall public awareness about obligations related to parenting. To apply for child support in Montana, you’ll need to file an application for non-public assistance with child support through the Child Support Enforcement Division. The application has a one-time, non-refundable $25 fee for those who are not on Medicaid. Download Forms.

How to Calculate Child Support in Montana?

Calculating the amount of child support owed by you or to you can be complicated, but some private attorneys or the State of Montana Child Support Enforcement Division can calculate this amount. You will need to know both the average income and financial situation of yourself and the other parent.

How to claim and pay child support?

On the application for support, you can choose to collect payments through either direct deposit or a U.S. Bank prepaid ReliaCard issued by the agency. To make a payment, you can either mail the payment to CSED, PO Box 8001, Helena, MT 59604 or visit their online payment portal.

Child Support Performance Stats for Montana

The most recently analyzed data from 2006 showed Montana had successfully established 97 percent of support orders within six months and nearly 98 percent with one year.

Statistics for Regular On-Time Payments Collection

Other Incentive Performance Measures

Performance Measures 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Statewide Paternity Establishment (%) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
IV-D Paternity Establishment (%) 107.64 105.9 104.98 104.87 106.31
Support Order Establishment (%) 88.79 88.33 89.18 89.57 88.77
Cost-Effectiveness ($) 4.6 4.51 4.4 4.48 4.24

Total Number of Children in the Child Support Program

Total Distributed Collections and Total Administrative Expenditures ($ Millions)

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total Distributed Collections ($) 59.94 60.81 61.06 62.72 60.59
Total Distributed to Families ($) 55.93 57.21 57.68 59.16 57.26
Total Administrative Expenditures ($) 14.97 15.47 15.9 16.03 16.42

Average Collections per Case with Collections

Can child support be paid off early

Support should not be paid off early in Montana because circumstances may change that modify the payment amounts.

What Will happen if You fall Behind Child Support Payment?

  • Withholding income
  • Withholding tax returns
  • Reporting of failure to pay to credit bureaus
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Suspension of hunting licenses or occupational licenses

Can you get alimony and child support at the same time?

Alimony or maintenance payments are often awarded when young children require care that prevents one spouse from obtaining employment, so support and alimony payments can be awarded at the same time in many circumstances.

Can you stop child support payments?

Support terminates only when the child is emancipated, turns19-years-old or graduates from high school.

Child Support and Taxes

Family support and alimony are both taxable, but support payments are not taxable. For this reason, it’s important that payments are specifically designated as “child support” in the divorce agreement.

Can child support payments be claimed on taxes in Montana?

No. Payments are not tax-deductible by the person making them.

How does my child support affect my taxes in Montana?

Only one parent can claim the child as a dependent on their tax returns in Montana. Typically, the custodial parent will be eligible to claim the child as a dependent on their taxes.

Can child support be taken pre tax?

No, support will be collected after income has already been taxed.

Can child support Take my federal tax return?

Yes. Montana enforces federal offset or the interception of federal tax returns as required by federal law. This will occur regardless of whether payments are being made.

Paternity Establishment

Montana’s laws dictate situations when paternity is assumed. For example, the husband is presumed to be the father to a child conceived during a marriage. The Montana Department of Child Support Enforcement can help determine paternity in situations where the identity of the father is unknown.

How do you establish paternity?

Fathers can establish paternity by voluntarily acknowledging the child through a signed affidavit. Otherwise, they will need a court action to establish paternity. After a child is born, genetic testing can serve as a basis for a presumption of paternity in Montana.

What rights does a father have if not on birth certificate?

If the father is not on the birth certificate, then he will need to file a court order to establish paternity. Otherwise, he will not maintain a right to visit or maintain custody of the child.

Can a mother refuse me paternity test?

No. You can seek a court action to seek a paternity test through Montana’s courts.

How to establish paternity if the father is deceased?

If the father is deceased, then establishing paternity may still be possible through court ordered genetic testing of living family members.

Can a father get a paternity test without the mother?

Fathers may be able to order a paternity test even without the mother’s approval in certain circumstances. He will need to file a court action after the child is born.

How long does a father have to establish paternity in Montana?

An acknowledgement or affadavit of paterntiy (AOP) can be signed at the hospital within 72 hours of the child's birth in Montana, or at the local health department. Both the mother and the father must sign the affidavit. Within 60 days of the signing the affidavit, however, anyone who is entitled to file a paternity case can file a case and ask for genetic testing.

Support order establishment

Once paternity is established, the custodial parent can seek a child support order. These orders are primarily based on the child’s financial needs and both parent’s financial ability. Modifying the future amount of support will require written consent from both parties, and these orders will be in effect until the child turns 19, graduates high school or is emancipated.

State Child Support orders

Once paternity is established voluntarily or through the court, the custodial parent may decide to pursue a state child support order. When support has been court ordered, it becomes enforceable by the state. The amount of the order varies depending on the child’s living circumstances and both parent’s ability to financially provide for the child’s needs.

Can child support be modified?

Support can only be modified when circumstances dramatically change which would make the agreement unconscionable or when both parties give written consent.

How do I file for a modification of child support?

To request a modification of support, you need to file a request for review with the Child Support Enforcement Division. The agency will investigate the situation and either deny or agree with the modification requests.

Can a child support order appealed?

A final decision can be appealed to the court.

Do you need a lawyer to modify child support?

Parents can represent themselves while requesting a modification in support orders, but an experienced lawyer will greatly improve the likelihood of getting your requests approved.

When can you modify child support?

Modifications may be requested when your income has significantly changed or when the child’s living circumstances have changed.

Child support Enforcement

How long does the child support enforcement take?

Once a request for enforcement has been filed enforcement actions can begin within several months.

What to do when child support is not paid?

Missed child support payments should be reported to the agency immediately, but sometimes it’s advisable to hire an attorney to expedite a court order.

What Happens if I’m not paying Child support?

When payments are not being made, the agency can work together with family court judges to report your failure to pay to credit bureaus, intercept your federal tax return, withhold income and even suspend your driver’s license, occupational licenses or hunting licenses.

How much overdue child support payment can be considered a felony?

Federal law dictates that a failure to pay child support for over two years or an amount exceeding $10,000 can be prosecuted as a criminal felony.

Can child support debt be forgiven?

No, but Montana has a statute of limitations on support enforcement of ten years.

Support Order Termination

How do I stop a child support order?

The Child Support Enforcement Division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services enforces child support order in conjunction with the courts and the IRS.

When Can I Apply for Child Support Termination?

Processing times are affected by things like whether or not paternity needs to be established and if a non-custodial parent can be located.

Can the custodial parent close a child support case?

Yes, the custodial parent can file a modfication request if circumstances have changes.

When Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

When the child turns 19, graduates high school or is legally emancipated.

What is the legal age to stop paying child support?

19 is the legal age to stop paying child support in Montana.The support can be terminated under three circumstances. Support ends when the child graduates high school, turns 19-years-old or is legally emancipated.

Montana Hearing Rights

Montana gives parents the legal right to a hearing when they desire to establish paternity, seek child support or modify court orders.

Montana Child Support Guidelines

Montana requires the non-custodial parent to pay support even when they live in another state. The amount required will be determined based on each parent’s declaration of their income and expenses. Failing to adhere to these laws may result in enforcement measures, and these orders are typically upheld until the child turns 19-years-old.

Montana Child Support Coverage

What is child support meant to cover?

Child support is designed to cover necessary expenses like shelter, clothing and food. When parents have the ability to pay, other expenses like travel costs, extracurricular activities and childcare costs may be included in support payments.

 

Does Child Support Cover Medical Care Expenses?

In Montana, each support order will include a specific agreement about which party will pay for medical insurance and medical expenses.

What if Both Parents are working, will Child Support Cover child care services?

Yes, daycare costs are one of the main factors that are included when determining support payments.

Are Car Maintenance Costs Covered by Child Support?

In some cases, one spouse may be ordered to pay a portion of car maintenance costs when the vehicle is used as the primary transportation for the minor.

What is Considered Basic Entertainment for Child Support?

Basic entertainment can be paid for with support, and it includes age appropriate forms of entertainment such as movies, television, internet and even amusement park trips

Are College expenses Covered by Child Support in Montana?

In Montana, parents have no duty to provide college support for children, but parents can come to an agreement when the parent wishes to help assist with these costs.

Are Extracurricular Activities covered by Support?

Extracurricular activities are usually not taken into account when awarding support, but parents can come to an agreement about sharing costs where necessary.

Are School Related Costs Covered by Child Support?

Support payments can be used to provide for school-related expenses.

Montana Child Support Offices

Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Child Support Enforcement Division - DPHHS 2401 Colonial Drive, First Floor Helena, MT N/A (406) 444-6856 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED

County Child Support Offices in MT

County name Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Beaverhead County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Big Horn County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Blaine County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Broadwater County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Carbon County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Carter County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Cascade County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Chouteau County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Custer County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Daniels County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Dawson County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Deer Lodge County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Fallon County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Fergus County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Flathead County Missoula, County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 2675 Palmer Street, Suite C, Missoula, MT 59808 N/A 1(406) 329-7910 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Gallatin County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Garfield County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Glacier County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Golden Valley County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Granite County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Hill County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Jefferson County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Judith Basin County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Lake County Missoula, County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 2675 Palmer Street, Suite C, Missoula, MT 59808 N/A 1(406) 329-7910 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Lewis and Clark County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Liberty County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Lincoln County Missoula, County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 2675 Palmer Street, Suite C, Missoula, MT 59808 N/A 1(406) 329-7910 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Madison County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
McCone County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Meagher County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Mineral County Missoula, County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 2675 Palmer Street, Suite C, Missoula, MT 59808 N/A 1(406) 329-7910 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Missoula County Missoula, County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 2675 Palmer Street, Suite C, Missoula, MT 59808 N/A 1(406) 329-7910 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Musselshell County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Park County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Petroleum County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Phillips County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Pondera County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Powder River County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Powell County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Prairie County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Ravalli County Missoula, County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 2675 Palmer Street, Suite C, Missoula, MT 59808 N/A 1(406) 329-7910 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Richland County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Roosevelt County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Rosebud County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Sanders County Missoula, County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 2675 Palmer Street, Suite C, Missoula, MT 59808 N/A 1(406) 329-7910 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Sheridan County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Silver Bow County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Stillwater County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Sweet Grass County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Teton County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Toole County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Treasure County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Valley County Cascade County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 201 First Street South, Suite 1A, Great Falls, MT 59405 N/A 1(406) 727-7449 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Wheatland County Silver Bow County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 17 West Galena, Butte, MT 59701 N/A 1(406) 497-6600 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Wibaux County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Yellowstone County Yellowstone County, MT Child Support Enforcement Division 1500 Poly Drive, Suite 200, Billings, MT 59102 N/A 1(406) 655-5500 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS
Central Office of Montana Child Support Enforcement Division 2401 Colonial Drive, First Floor, PO Box 202943, Helena, MT 59620 N/A 1(406) 444-9767 https://dphhs.mt.gov/CSED/CONTACTS