Spousal Support: Not all cases involve support from one spouse to the other. The obligation of one spouse to support the other financially for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by the parties or at the court’s discretion.
Child Custody: When minor children are involved in a dissolution of marriage, the Montana courts will do everything possible to help lessen the emotional trauma the children may be experiencing. If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding the issues involving the children, the court will establish the custody order at its discretion.
The court shall determine the custody arrangement and parenting plan in accordance with the best interest of the child. The court shall consider all relevant parenting factors, which may include but are not limited to:
(a) the wishes of the child’s parent or parents;
(b) the wishes of the child;
(c) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parent or parents and siblings and with any other person who significantly affects the child’s best interest;
(d) the child’s adjustment to home, school, and community;
(e) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
(f) physical abuse or threat of physical abuse by one parent against the other parent or the child;
(g) chemical dependency, or chemical abuse on the part of either parent;
(h) continuity and stability of care;
(i) developmental needs of the child;
(j) whether a parent has knowingly failed to pay birth-related costs that the parent is able to pay, which is considered to be not in the child’s best interests;
(k) whether a parent has knowingly failed to financially support a child that the parent is able to support, which is considered to be not in the child’s best interests;
(l) whether the child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents, which is considered to be in the child’s best interests unless the court determines, after a hearing, that contact with a parent would be detrimental to the child’s best interests.
(m) adverse effects on the child resulting from continuous and vexatious parenting plan amendment actions.
Child Support: Montana child support guidelines uses the Percentage of Income formula which calculates the support obligation as a percentage of the income of the non-custodial parent who is obligated to support the child. This method simply applies a percentage to the income of the parent according to the number of children requiring support.
The court shall determine the child support obligation by applying the support standards, guidelines and worksheets. The court will also consider the following without regard to marital fault or misconduct:
(a) the financial resources of the child;
(b) the financial resources of the parents;
(c) the standard of living that the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;
(d) the physical and emotional condition of the child and the child’s educational and medical needs;
(e) the age of the child;
(f) the cost of day care for the child;
(g) any parenting plan that is ordered or decided upon; and
(h) the needs of any person, other than the child, whom either parent is legally obligated to support.
If the court finds that a delinquency greater than the total of 6 months of support is owed and that the obligated person has the ability to post bond, give a mortgage, or provide security or other guaranty, the court may enter an order requiring the obligated person to post bond, give a mortgage, or provide security or guaranty for so long as there is a support delinquency.
|Statehood||November 8, 1889|
|Number of Counties||56|
|State Population (2005)||935,670|
|State Quarter Issue Date||January 29, 2007|
|Top 5 Cities (2000 population)||
|Major Sports Teams||None|