Montana Child Support: Knowing What Best for Your Child

Last Updated on October 26, 2023 by Lori Pace

Children have the right to support their parents. If the parents divorce or did not marry, the child’s care costs often fall on the parent who has custody. Sometimes, one parent’s income is not sufficient to cover all the child’s needs. So, child support laws in Montana create an obligation for both parents, they make it mandatory that they participate in the care of their child.

The Process For Child Support After Divorce

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services’ Child Support Services Division (CSSD) administers child support. The CSSD assists parents in obtaining and enforcing child support orders as well as medical support orders.

Custodial parents who seek to establish a child support case have the requirement to create an account on the CSSD website for their application. The application fee includes a $25 non-refundable fee. Parents who receive financial assistance from public programs like Medicaid will automatically have the referral to the child support program. They would not need to pay an application fee.

The Process For Child Support After Divorce7

Please provide details about both parents, such as their full names, races, addresses, and phone numbers. It would be necessary. Because it can speed up the process of setting up a case, it is important that you provide as much information as possible. Parents seeking support from multiple people should fill out separate forms for each. You can revisit the portal within 60 days to complete any unfinished applications.

Once the application reaches the CSSD, they will begin to search for the noncustodial parents so that the notice regarding the child support case. The information in the application could prove to be very useful as the case can’t proceed without it being served.

Requirement of Paternity establishment

Requirement Of Paternity Establishment

If the parents did marry, the husband is the assuming father. If the child is born within 300 day of the end of the marriage, whether through divorce or any other means, the same applies. Unmarried parents to establish paternity can sign a voluntary acknowledgment. You can find a sample on Montana Government website. After signing the form, the name of the man will be the father to the child’s birth certificate. Genetic testing helps confirm the paternity of the child’s father if there are questions. They can issue a court order to determine the father of the child if the results of the genetic testing show a reasonable probability of fatherhood. Visit the Montana Government page for more information on establishing paternity.

A child support case will open once there is establishment of paternity. This will allow for the establishment of a child support order.

How To Receive Child Support

Electronic child support payments can be made electronically to parents via direct deposit or to a U.S. Bank ReliaCard. Direct deposits enable the direct payment into the parent’s bank account, where they can access them as required. Parents who want their child support payments to be made via direct deposits can complete a Direct Deposit Authorization Form.

The ReliaCard Visa debit card has child support payments loaded on it when they become available for disbursement. You can use the card in the same way as any other debit card to make purchases or withdraw cash. Except for direct deposit, the ReliaCard will be the default method for child support payments.

How To Receive Child Support 7

Using Child Support Calculator Tool to Know The Maximum Amount That Your Family Can Receive

Child support payments in Montana are based on the income of both parents, including wages, severance, pensions, trust income, and alimony. The parenting days of each parent in cases of shared custody, the number of children and the special needs of the child are all considered. These guidelines do not set a limit on the amount a parent may pay child support. The guidelines contain minimum support obligations, which the income criteria determines.

Income values will be imputed to parents who are able to work, but are not employed or underemployed. These income values will be used to calculate child support regardless of whether or not they earn the amount. You should also note that child support calculations do not include income sources such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You can find a full breakdown of the child support guidelines and accompanying calculations online.


The CSSD uses withholding a portion of the wages of parents to collect child support. This ensures that the child support money has proper collection and remittance. This option is not always available and parents might default on child support payments. The CSSD offers several options to enforce child support collection. These actions include:

  • Credit agencies reporting
  • Intercepted refunds of federal and state taxes
  • You must suspend your occupational, recreational, or driver’s license
  • Suspending passports
  • Interception of winnings from the lottery and payouts from insurance
  • Seizure bank accounts and other financial accounts.
Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!