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Montana State Law

1. General Program-At-A-Glance

1. How many local child support offices are in your state excluding agencies with cooperative agreements?
Montana is divided into five regional offices: Great Falls, Billings, Butte, Missoula, Helena. The Helena Office is the Intergovernmental Referral Office.
2. What is the name of your IV-D agency?
Child Support Services Division
3. Is your state administrative, judicial, or a combination of both? In particular, does your state primarily use judicial or administrative procedures to establish and/or enforce support orders? Please describe.
The administrative is process utilized by the CSSD. The judicial process is used in non-IV-D cases.
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4. Does your state use the following applications: EDE, CSENET, QUICK?
EDE and CSENET

2. Duration Of Support

1. What is the duration of support in your state? Include the age of majority when the support obligation ends in the absence of other factors. Include your state's statutory citation(s).
18 or upon graduation from high school, whichever is later, but no later than 19. MCA 40-4-208(5);40-5-201(2)
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2. If not addressed in the order, at what age is child support automatically terminated as a matter of state law? Qualify, if necessary.
In the event of the child's death, the child's marriage, the child's enlistment in the US armed services, or the child's emancipation in a District Court proceeding.
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3. Does the date of the order determine the law that is applied to the duration of support? If yes, describe.
Yes. Orders entered before October 1, 1991, are subject to termination at age 18 or 19 as stated in Q1, unless the parents agree upon a later termination date.
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4. Does your state law allow support to be paid beyond the age of majority under certain circumstances (for example, if the child has a disability or is in college)? If yes, describe.
Yes. Life of order may be extended by written agreement or express provision of decree, in addition to the provisions for disability of child in MCA 40-4-208(6)(a).
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5. What are your state's laws regarding the emancipation of the child that would result in early termination of the child support obligation? Describe.
In the event of the child's death, the child's marriage, the child's enlistment in the US armed services, enrollment in the Job Corps program, or the child's emancipation in a District Court proceeding. Support may terminate, in equity, if some other party/entity assumes responsibility for the child.
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6. Does child support end if the child no longer lives with the custodial parent but does not emancipate according to state law? For example, the child graduates from high school at 17 and no longer lives with the custodial parent?
No. Support may terminate if some other party/entity assumes responsibility for the child.
7. For orders that include multiple children, does your state automatically reduce the current support owed for remaining children after one of the children in the order reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates? If yes, describe.
No.
8. Does your state provide IV-D services to establish support for a child who is no longer a minor but for whom state law provides post-majority support (for example, if the child has a disability or is in college)? If yes, please describe the specific circumstances.
If a child is disabled before he turns 18 (or 19 if that was otherwise the termination) support may continue to be owed to the custodial parent past the standard termination language of MCA 40-4-208 if the court has determined a) the "child" is disabled, b) the "child" is financially dependent on the custodial parent, and c) the custodial parent is the "child's" caregiver. The court decides if the obligation will continue beyond the standard emancipation and the court decides when the obligation ends. The court must determine the disability, determine financial dependency on the custodial parent, consider the "child's" eligibility for public benefits and services, and determine the custodial parent is the caregiver. Establishment and modification to create an obligation for a disabled adult child must occur in district court.

3. Statute Of Limitations

1. What is your state's statute of limitations for the collection of past-due support?
10 years from date payment due for debt accrued prior to 10/1/93; 10 years after termination of obligation for payments due after 10/1/93, or 10 years from entry of a lump-sum judgment or order for child support arrears, whichever is later, unless statute of limitations is tolled.
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2. What is your state's statute of limitations for the establishment of paternity/parentage? Please explain.
MCA 40-6-108. Child's 18th birthday.
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3. Is dormancy revival/renewal possible? If yes, under what circumstances and for how long?
A judgment must be renewed within the applicable statute of limitations and may be continually renewed.
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4. Support Details

1. What guideline type or method does your state use to calculate child support (for example, Income Shares Model, Percentage of Income Model, Melson Formula)?
Modified Melson, see link below to the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 37.62.101 se seq.
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2. Does your state have any statute(s) addressing interest on arrears? If yes, indicate the amount of interest charged, any related conditions, and the statutory citation.
Yes, bank prime rate plus 3%. MCA 25-9-205. The Montana CSSD does not collect interest. MCA 40-5-252. The Montana CSSD does not collect interest. MCA 40-5-252.
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3. Does your state's IV-D agency calculate interest on arrears? If yes, indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
No.
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4. Does your state charge interest on retroactive support? If yes, indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
State law allows interest on retroactive support per MCA 25-9-205. Interest is rarely charged on district court orders. The state IV-D agency does not assess interest on orders.
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5. Will your state enforce a medical debt for any uninsured portion? If yes, under what circumstances?
Yes, if the debt is reduced to a judgment.
6. If your state has issued an order, and another IV-D agency asserts that the person/entity entitled to receive child support payments has changed from the person/entity designated in your state's order (due to a change in placement or foster care status), what does your state require in order to change the person/entity entitled to receive payments?
Receipt of a IV-A or IV-E referral that a child has been approved for TANF or foster care benefits in the household of the custodian. The order follows the child MCA 40-5-290.
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6.1. Does it matter if the child receives TANF or Medicaid-only? If so, explain.
No, it does not matter. Receipt of a case referral from the State's Medicaid agency that a child has been approved for Medicaid in the household of the custodian. Order follows the child MCA 40-5-290.
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7. Does your state require that a custodial party, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before enforcing an order for support that was issued to the biological parents as the parties for non-public assistance cases?
If it is a Montana order issued after October 1, 1993, the order follows the child.
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8. Does your state IV-D agency give the noncustodial parent credit toward child support for Auxiliary Benefits received directly by the custodial parent on behalf of a child as a result of the noncustodial parent's Social Security Retirement, Survivors, or Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefit?
Yes. ARM 37.62.144
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9. Does your state abate support? If yes, explain the circumstances and provide your statutory citation.
No.
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5. Paternity/Parentage

1. Does your state law require custody and visitation to be addressed at the time of paternity/parentage establishment? If yes, please describe and provide the statutory citation.
No.
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2. What is the percentage of probability for genetic testing that creates a rebuttable or conclusive presumption of paternity?
95% or higher
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3. What is the state law citation that makes paternity acknowledgment conclusive? Please describe (if appropriate).
On the condition that neither parent withdraws the acknowledgment within 60 days after it was signed. MCA 40-6-105(5)(a).
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4. Does marriage constitute a rebuttable presumption of paternity/parentage without exceptions? Please describe and provide your statutory citation.
It depends on whether the marriage has been dissolved or not. If the paternity presumption arising by reason of marriage is not rebutted during a dissolution of marriage action, the presumption becomes a paternity determination and is res judicata as to paternity. Prior to a dissolution, rebuttal may occur by "an appropriate action by a preponderance of the evidence," or by genetic testing which excludes the person as a child's natural parent.
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5. Does the father's name on the birth certificate constitute a conclusive presumption of paternity? Please provide your state citation. If no, please describe.
No. Father's name on birth certificate is mere evidence of paternity.
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6. Does your state have any other paternity/parentage-related presumptions? If yes, please describe.
Yes, MCA 42-2-201 et seq., particularly 42-2-209, Putative Father Registration.
7. What, if any, is the agency name and link for your state's putative fathers' registry?
The Vital Statistics bureau within the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS).
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8. What documents regarding paternity can your state's IV-D agency provide to other IV-D agencies? Are there any charges to the requesting IV-D agencies?
Montana can provide copies (uncertified) paternity documents in our possession, free of charge. For any other documents the requesting IV-D agency must contact MT DPHHS Vital Records. Copies from Vital Records incur charges.
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9. Does your states bureau of vital statistics charge any fees to other states or private individuals for requesting searches, paternity/parentage documents, and data?
Yes.
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9.1. Describe any circumstances under which these fees may be waived?
Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 37.8.116
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10. Is common-law marriage currently recognized in your state? If yes, describe the standard that defines common-law marriage and the date the standard went into effect.
Yes, common-law marriage is recognized. It is a marriage formed without a license and solemnization. The Montana Supreme Court has set out the elements for creating a valid common law marriage. First, the parties must be competent to enter into a marriage. Second, the parties entered into the marital arrangement by mutual consent and agreement. And finally, the parties confirmed their marriage by cohabitation and public repute. 5/26/1864
11. If there was a prior common-law standard in your state that is no longer in effect, what were the dates that standard was in effect? Describe the standard.
No prior common-law standards. Common-law marriage has been a feature of Montana law since territorial days.
12. If there is more than one child with the same custodial party and the same alleged father, should an initiating jurisdiction send one intergovernmental packet to your state (with a separate Declaration in Support of Establishing Parentage forms for each child) or a separate intergovernmental packet for each child?
One set of documents; a paternity affidavit is required for each child.

6. Support Order Establishment

1. Does your state use an administrative, judicial, or a combined process to establish a support obligation?
The administrative is process utilized by the CSSD. The judicial process is used in non-IV-D cases.
1.1 If your state can establish both administratively and judicially, under what circumstances would your state use the administrative process? Please provide the statutory citation for your state's administrative procedures.
If no prior judicial order exists or a prior judicial order authorizes use of administrative process. MCA Title 40, Chapter 5, Parts 2 & 8.
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1.2. Under what circumstances would your state use the judicial process? Please provide the statutory citation for your state's judicial procedures.
Montana court orders, and court orders from other states must be modified by a Montana district court. The final decision and order of the administrative process must be filed with and approved by the applicable Montana court. MCA 40-4-204, 40-4-208(2), 40-5-225, 40-5-271 through 40-5-278, 40-6-116, 40-5-1042, 40-5-1065
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2. When setting support using your state's guidelines, whose income is considered in addition to the noncustodial parent's (for example, custodial parent, spouse, child)?
Income of both parents is considered in setting support. Income of a child, new spouse, etc. may be considered as a variance.
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2.1. What documentation is required as proof/evidence of this information?
The court shall consider all relevant factors, MCA 40-4-204(2). Administrative Rules of Montana 37.62.108 INCOME VERIFICATION/ DETERMINING ANNUAL INCOME (2) Income of the parents must be documented. This may include pay stubs, employer statements, income tax returns, and profit and loss statements. If expenses are disputed, proof may be required.
3. What criteria for rebutting your presumptive guidelines have been established in your state?
The child support guideline rule at ARM 37.62.102 establishes the criteria. In addition, MCA 40-4-204(3), 40-5-225(5), and 40-6-116(6), set out additional criteria for language in a support order.
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4. Will your state establish support orders for prior periods of support? If yes, please describe (for example, from the birth of the child, from date of separation, prenatal expenses, five years retroactive).
MCA 40-5-226. For administrative process, support may be established from: date of birth, if paternity is established under MCA40-5-231 to 238 or 40-6-116; date of parties' separation if support is established under 40-5-225.
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4.1. What information or documentation does your state require to proceed with establishing support for prior periods?
What information or documentation does your state require to proceed with establishing support for prior periods? A completed Transmittal #1. 1. Proof of parental obligation which must consist of at least one of the following: 1) Copy of the child or children's birth certificate on which the absent parent name appears; 2) Certified copy of parent's marriage license showing children were born during the marriage; 3) Certified copy of Order of Divorce, Decree of Dissolution, or other order; 4) Certified copy of a judicial or administrative determination of paternity; 5) For non-custodial parent of a child for which paternity may be in question, a notarized acknowledgment of paternity, signed by both parties that has been filed with Vital Statistics; 6) If non-custodial parent is presumed to be father of the child by action of state statute, an explanation and a copy of the statute in question; 7) Certified copy of blood test results showing a 95% or higher statistical probability of paternity. 2. The Montana CSED Waiver of Personal Jurisdiction signed by the CP if the CP is a TANF recipient. 3. Signed and notarized affidavit from CP indicating sufficient financial information for determination of an ongoing support amount. 4. Any employment, asset, or other relevant information known about the non-custodial parent.
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4.2. Will your state allow a petition for support for a minor child when the only issue is retroactive support?
No.
4.3. If there are limitations upon your state's ability to establish support for prior periods, specify those limitations.
Refer to 4. Above.
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5. Does your state require that a custodial party, who is not a biological parent, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support when public assistance is being expended?
No. In addition, a Montana order issued after October 1, 1993, the order follows the child. MCA 40-4-204(8); 40-5-290, and 40-6-117(4)
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5.1. What about when public assistance is not being expended?
No. In addition, a Montana order issued after October 1, 1993, the order follows the child.
6. When your state has issued an order that reserves support, and now child support should be ordered, does your state require establishment or modification?
Modification
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7. When there is an existing support order between the parents of a child and the child's residence changes from one parent to the other, does your state require that the new custodial parent obtain legal custody before child support is addressed? Please describe.
No. Depending on the child support order and child support guideline calculation, it may be possible to use the existing order, or a new child support order may be established.
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7. Income Withholding

1. What are specific sources of income not subject to withholding?
Amounts required by law to be withheld (taxes, etc.) and amounts exempted from judgment, execution, or attachment. MCA40-5-403(5)(b) and MCA 25-13-608 et seq., including 25-13-614.
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2. Does your state law adopt the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) income withholding limits? Please provide the statutory citation.
Yes. MCA 40-5-416 and MCA 25-13-614
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2.1. Does your state have policies or procedures allowing the agency to use lower limits than the CCPA?
Yes, the agency generally limits withholding to 50% of disposable earnings.
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2.2. What are the withholding limits for non-employees?
Money that does not fit the definition of earnings found in 15 USC 1672(a) is not subject to the garnishment limitation.
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3. What is the maximum fee for the administrative cost that an employer may charge for processing income withholding orders? (45 CFR 303.100 (e)(iii).
An employer may withhold a $5.00 administrative fee per month per withholding order from the employee. MCA 4-5-416
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4. Does your state charge any fees to the noncustodial parent that the employer must withhold and remit to the state? If yes, please explain.
No.
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5. Is an employer required to begin withholding after the date of service, receipt, or mailing of an income withholding order?
Service date
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5.1. How many days following the first pay period that occurs after service, receipt, or mailing of an income withholding order is an employer required to begin withholding?
7 working days of the date the obligor is paid. MCA 40-5-421
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6. When must an employer remit amounts withheld from an employee's pay?
Employer must implement wage withholding on the next pay period.
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7. What are your state's sanctions for employers for not implementing income withholding?
May also pursue civil contempt, which carries a fine of up to $500 for each contempt. MCA 40-5-424,40-5-226.
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7.1. What are the penalties to an employer for failure to remit payments withheld?
Refer to 7 above.
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8. Does your state allow other jurisdictions to send income withholding orders for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits directly to your state's UI agency? If yes, please explain your process and include any additional required documents.
No.
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8.1. If no, what is your state's process to aid the other jurisdictions in withholding UI benefits? Please describe and include the required documents.
Montana does not allow direct withholding of Unemployment Insurance Benefits. The other jurisdiction may send a referral.
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9. Does your state allow other jurisdictions to send income withholding orders directly to a noncustodial parent's financial institution in your state? If yes, please explain your process and include any additional required documents.
No.
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9.1. If no, what is your state's process to aid the other jurisdiction in collecting from a financial institution? Please describe and include the required documents.
Financial or cash assets that can be seized in a one-time enforcement action. Requesting state must specify the type of operation required: seize-only or locate-and-seize. For locate-and-seize requests Montana will pursue only accounts identified by FIDM interface. For cases with non-Montana support orders, upon CSED request: an exemplified copy of the support order. An exemplified copy is proof of the signature of the judge for the court that entered the order. This allows the CSED to pursue enforcement of the foreign judgment through a Montana district court.
10. How does a noncustodial parent contest an income withholding in your state?
The noncustodial parent has the right to request hearing to object on basis of mistake of fact within 10 days of notice. Hearings conducted by phone. The entire process must be completed within 45 days. MCA40-5-413, 414
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11. How does your state allocate payments when there is more than one claim against the noncustodial parent's income? Should the payment be divided equally or pro-rated among the cases? (See 45 CFR 303.100(a)(5).)
MCA 40-5-421 3(a) when there is more than one order for withholding against the obligor, the employer/payor should honor all withholding orders to the extent that the total amount withheld from the obligor's wages or salary does not exceed the garnishment limitations in MCA 40-5-416.When the withholding of current support is less than the amount of current support due to all obligees, the employer/payor must prorate the amount based on the amount of current support due to each. The withholding of arrears support is distributed equally among all of the obligor's cases.
12. When calculating disposable income for child support purposes, what are the mandatory deductions from gross income required by state law, such as union dues or medical insurance premiums?
The mandatory deductions from income subject to withholding include: any amount required by law to be withheld, including federal, state, and local taxes, social security, mandatory retirement and disability contributions, and union dues; or any amounts exempted from judgment, execution or attachment by federal or state law. MCA 40-5-403(5)(b).
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13. When does your state require the employer to send notice of an employee's termination?
MCA40-5-421, "promptly"
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14. When your state is enforcing an order and receives payment through income withholding that is not enough to cover the full amount ordered, how does your state apply the payment to the types of support (for example, current, arrears, medical, spousal support, other)? Please describe and provide the statutory citations, if appropriate.
Current child support, current medical support, current spousal support, then arrears.
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8. Distribution

1. Does your state pass through collections (and disregard collections for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligibility purposes) in current assistance cases? If yes, provide the amount and explain.
No.
2. Does your state participate in the pass-through in former assistance cases? If yes, provide the date and explain.
No.
3. In former assistance cases, are federal income tax refund offset payments applied to families first (DRA distribution) or state arrears first (PRWORA distribution)?
PRWORA
4. How does your state distribute payments when the noncustodial parent has arrears due to your state and another state?
Payments are apportioned to all cases. Unassigned arrears are paid first, then split equally between MT assigned arrears and other state assigned arrears.
4.1. If there are no arrears due to your state, how does your state distribute payments when the noncustodial parent has arrears due to multiple states?
If Montana is collecting arrears on assigned accounts for more than one states, the distribution would split evenly. However, if one of the arrears accounts is unassigned the payment would be sent entirely to the unassigned account until the account is paid in full.
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9. Enforcement

1. What data matches (for example, financial institution, state lottery) and enforcement remedies are available through Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases (AEI) in your state? (See AT-08-06: Implementing Section 466(a)(14) of the Social Security Act, High-Volume, Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases.)
Financial or cash assets that can be seized in a one-time enforcement action. State must specify the type of operation required: seize-only or locate-and-seize. For locate-and-seize requests Montana will pursue only accounts identified by FIDM interface.
2. What criteria must be met, and in addition to Transmittal #3, what documentation does your state require to proceed with an AEI request?
1) Separate request for each case with the same obligor; 2) Certification that the obligor and SSN are correctly identified; 3) Certified copy of the support order; 4) Certification that all due process requirements of the requesting state have been met; 5) Certification that the amount of the arrears is correct; 6) Debt computation worksheet; 7) Amount of the certified arrears; 8) payment address and FIPS code For seize-only requests: asset specifications (type, location, amount, payor, or holder)For cases with non-Montana support orders, upon CSED request: an exemplified copy of the support order. An exemplified copy is proof of the signature of the judge for the court that entered the order. This allows the CSED to pursue enforcement of the foreign judgment through a Montana district court.
3. What are your state's criteria for reporting a noncustodial parent's child support information to credit bureaus?
The obligor owes a support debt equal to or greater than seven months current support obligation.
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4. To which credit bureaus does your state report a noncustodial parent's child support information?
Equifax, TransUnion, and Innovis
5. Is the method for credit bureau reporting judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative
6. Can a noncustodial parent who no longer has a past-due account have the report removed from the credit bureau? If so, what must the noncustodial parent do?"
The credit bureau should update to account paid in full on the Collection account when it receives that information from our agency. If the non-custodial parent disputes that with the credit bureau, Montana will change it so that it reads Current account. Credit bureaus do not remove the previously reported high debt. The highest amount due in the past 7 years stays on the credit bureau in association with that account.
7. When your state is the responding state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for federal administrative offset? If yes, what is the minimum required past-due amount?
No.
8. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for federal administrative offset? If yes, what is the minimum required past-due amount?
Yes. An obligor's assigned arrears are submitted for offset if the total assigned arrears over all cases are $150 or more. Likewise, unassigned arrears are submitted if the total for all cases reaches $500.
9. When your state is the responding state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for insurance match? If yes, what is the minimum required past-due amount?
No.
10. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for insurance match? If yes, what is the minimum required past-due amount?
yes.
11. When your state is the responding state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for MSFIDM? If yes, what is the minimum required past-due amount?
Montana sends obligors eligible for Federal Tax Offset. Parameters for this eligibility are: $150 in assigned debt and/or $500 in unassigned debt.
12. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for MSFIDM? If yes, what is the minimum past-due amount?
Montana sends obligors eligible for Federal Tax Offset. Parameters for this eligibility are: $150 in assigned debt and/or $500 in unassigned debt.
13. When your state is the responding state, does it submit past-due cases to OCSE for passport denial?
No.
14. Are the financial institution attachment procedures in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Both.
15. Are there specific account types exempt from the administrative financial institution attachment process in your state? If yes, which account types are exempt?
Corporate, partnership, Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA).
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16. Is the financial institution attachment process in your state centralized and/or automated?
The match is automated, but the attachment process is not and is not centralized.
17. What are the criteria to attach an account in a financial institution in your state?
A FIDM performed by the CSSD in the state of Montana. Value of property exceeds value of any exemptions, service of process and execution, and amount of any superior liens.
18. Does your state's law require financial institutions doing business in your state to accept enforcement actions directly from other states? If yes, provide the statutory citation. Please explain.
No.
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19. If there are no statutory criteria required to attach an account, describe the process for requesting a financial institution attachment from another child support agency (for example, a Transmittal #3) and list additional documentation required.
The Montana CSED will honor a request for a lien and seizure from another IV-D agency upon the receipt of a proper transmittal, either a Transmittal #1 with a request for a lien and seizure of specific property or a Transmittal #3 but with the additional demographic information about the parties contained in the Transmittal #1. In addition, we need a certified copy of the support order(s) and a certified debt history and sufficient documentation to reduce the debt to judgment if that has not been previously done.
20. Does your state's income withholding definition include amounts in financial institutions?
Yes.
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21. Does your state require sending a notice of intent to the noncustodial parent when attaching an account in a financial institution? Who notifies the noncustodial parent - the state, the financial institution, or both?
A notice of seizure and right to claim an exemption are send to noncustodial parent once the agency receives notice of the amount that has been seized.
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22. How long does the financial institution have to hold funds before sending the noncustodial parent's assets to your child support agency?
They do not have to hold the funds, but they may depending on the type of seizure instrument used. Administrative warrant for distraint: The sheriff or levying officer shall return the warrant along with any funds collected within 120 days of receipt of the warrant. MCA 40-5-247. Writ of execution: The execution may be returnable not less than 10 or more than 120 days after receipt of the recovery by the sheriff or levying officer following imposition of the levy. MCA 25-13-404.
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23. Does your state law or policy require the financial institution and/or state to hold the attached assets during the challenge or appeal time frame? If yes, provide the statutory citation and time frames.
No, but the agency must if the funds are received from the financial institution before the time runs for the debtor to request an exemption hearing. The debtor has ten working days from the date the Notice of Seizure is mailed to request a hearing to claim the seized property is exempt from execution.
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24. What amount or percentage of the noncustodial parent's financial assets are eligible for attachment? Is this different for joint accounts? Please explain.
Limited exemptions are provided for in MCA 25-13-608, 609, and 614. As for joint accounts it depends upon whether the account is held as tenants in common or joints tenants with rights of survivorship.
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25. What are the criteria for a noncustodial parent and/or joint account holder to contest a financial institution attachment?
The action may be challenged by a hearing request to determine whether the property seized is exempted from execution, the validity of the judgment; and whether payments have been made since the last adjudication of the debt.
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26. Does your state have procedures to liquidate non-liquid assets (for example, stocks, bonds, etc.)? If yes, provide the statutory citation and the procedures to follow.
No.
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27. What are your state's criteria for driver's license revocation/suspension for nonpayment of support?
The MT CSSD may initiate license suspension proceedings in cases where the obligor owes a support debt equal to or greater than six months support obligation. License suspension proceedings are initiated through entry into a payment plan or issuance of a Notice of Intent to Suspend License (NOISL). Resolution of the NOISL consists of two parts, a 60-day response period that begins with service of the NOISL, and the 30 days following the response period in which the notice must be resolved. A NOISL must be resolved within this 90-day period, and is considered lapsed if unresolved after that time. Once a NOISL has lapsed, a new NOISL must be issued. License suspension is not used as an enforcement tool against an obligor who has been granted a financial hardship (the arrears payments of a case are temporarily reduced), as long as the agreed-to payment amount is honored.
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28. What are your state's criteria for driver's license restoration/reinstatement, including hardship exemptions?
The obligor enters into an approved payment plan, the MT CSED issues an order dismissing the Notice of Intent to Suspend License (rare), the obligor pays the support debt in full. As long as the agreed-to payment amount (hardship amount) is honored license suspension is not used as an enforcement tool.
29. Does your state allow temporary or conditional driver's licenses? If yes, what are the criteria?
No, not when the cause of suspension is nonpayment of child support.
30. What are your state's criteria for professional license revocation/suspension for nonpayment of support? Specify the professional license types.
The MT CSSD may initiate license suspension proceedings in cases where the obligor owes a support debt equal to or greater than six months support obligation. License means a license, certificate, registration, permit, or any other authorization issued by an agency of the State of Montana granting a person a right or privilege to engage in a business, occupation, profession, recreational activity, or any other privilege that is subject to suspension, revocation, forfeiture, termination, or a declaration of ineligibility to purchase by the licensing authority prior to its date of expiration.
31. What are your state's criteria for professional license restoration/reinstatement, including hardship exemptions?
The obligor enters into an approved payment plan, the MT CSED issues an order dismissing the Notice of Intent to Suspend License (rare), the obligor pays the support debt in full. As long as the agreed-to payment amount (hardship amount) is honored license suspension is not used as an enforcement tool.
32. Does your state allow temporary or conditional professional licenses? If yes, what are the criteria?
No.
33. What are your state's criteria for recreational license revocation/suspension for nonpayment of support? Specify the recreational license types.
The obligor enters into an approved payment plan, the MT CSED issues an order dismissing the Notice of Intent to Suspend License (rare), the obligor pays the support debt in full. As long as the agreed-to payment amount (hardship amount) is honored license suspension is not used as an enforcement tool.
34. What are your state's criteria for recreational license restoration/reinstatement, including hardship exemptions?
The obligor enters into an approved payment plan, the MT CSED issues an order dismissing the Notice of Intent to Suspend License (rare), the obligor pays the support debt in full. As long as the agreed-to payment amount (hardship amount) is honored license suspension is not used as an enforcement tool.
35. Does your state allow temporary or conditional recreational licenses? If yes, what are the criteria?
No.
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36. What are the criteria for initiating/filing a lien in your state?
Value of property exceeds value of any exemptions, service of process and execution, and amount of any superior liens.
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37. Is the lien process in your state primarily judicial, administrative, or both? Please describe.
Administrative
38. Does your state enforce property seizure and sale? If so, is this process primarily judicial, administrative, or both? Please describe.
Yes. Both. But extremely rare due to costs of maintaining property pending sale.
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39. Does your state have a state income tax refund offset as an enforcement remedy? If yes, describe whether the process for this remedy is primarily judicial, administrative, or a combination.
Yes, administrative. MCA 17-4-105.
40. Does your state intercept lottery or other types of gaming/gambling winnings in your state? If so, what kind of winnings are included?
Yes, the CSSD can intercept lottery winnings paid directly to the winner by the Montana Lottery in an amount over $600.00. Winning tickets that cannot be redeemed by the retailer must be presented directly to the MT Lottery either in person, or by mail for payment. MCA 23-7-312.
40.1. If yes, is this enforcement judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative
41. What other administrative enforcement procedures are available in your state that are not otherwise described in the IRG?
N/A
42. What other judicial enforcement procedures are available in your state that are not otherwise described in the IRG?
Civil contempt and criminal nonsupport although the IV-D agency has no criminal prosecutorial power. A criminal nonsupport action must be initiated by county prosecutor.

10. Modification And Review/Adjustment

1. How frequently does your state conduct order reviews in IV-D cases (for example, every year or every three years)? (See 45 CFR 303.8.)
Every three years or TANF and Non-TANF cases - upon the request of the obligor or obligee where:1. 36 months have lapsed since last order was entered or modified; or 2. An increase or decrease in either parent's income by at least 30%.
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2. What is your state's modification procedure? Briefly describe.
Modified Melson
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3. What are the criteria for modification under your state's guidelines (for example, a change that is more than $50 or 20% upward or downward from the current amount ordered)?
Multi-stage administrative proceeding, with possibility of contested case hearing, and subsequent judicial review, if desired. If underlying order is issued by a Montana District Court, the CSSD's proposed order must be reviewed by the Court and adopted or rejected.
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4. Which of the following criteria for demonstrating a change in circumstances apply for modifying an order?

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4.1. The earnings of the noncustodial parent have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes.
4.2. The earnings of the custodial parent have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes.
4.3. The needs of a party or the child(ren) have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes.
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4.4. The cost of living has changed.
Yes.
4.5. The child(ren) has extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance.
No.
4.6. There has been a substantial change in childcare expenses.
Yes
4.7. What other criteria does your state use for demonstrating a change in circumstances for modifying an order?
An increase or decrease in either parent's income by at least 30%.
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5. Does your state have a cost of living adjustment (COLAs) for orders? If yes, what index does your state use? (See 45 CFR 303.8(b)(1)(ii).)
No.
6. After learning that a parent who owes support will be incarcerated for more than 180 calendar days, does your state elect to initiate a review of an order without the need for a specific request, i.e., automatically? (See 45 CFR 303.8(b)(2).)
Not automatic. The CSSD sends a notice to both parents of their right to request a review and adjustment within 15 days, including the place and manner in which the request must be made.
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11. Lump Sum Payments

1. What is your state's definition of a lump sum, if it has one? Provide the statutory citation. (Note: States may define "lump sum" more broadly than only employer- related lump sums.)
Montana does not define a lump sum.
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2. Does your state law require employers to report lump sum payments? If yes, provide the statutory citation or rule.
No.
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3. How does your state attach different types of lump sum payments? For example, does your state use the OMB-approved income withholding order for employer-issued bonuses, a lien, and levy notice for workers' compensation (if workers' compensation is considered a lump sum payment in your state), etc.?
We may use an OMB-approved income withholding order, issue a lien, administrative Warrant for Distraint, or Writ of Execution.

12. Cost Recovery And Fees

1. Does your state elect to recover costs in excess of any fees collected to cover administrative costs in your child support state plan? (See section 454(6) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 302.33(d).) If yes, does your state collect excess actual or standardized costs on a case-by-case basis? Please describe.
Paternity testing fee.
1.1. If yes, does your state recover costs from the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent? (Note: No costs can be assessed against a foreign custodial parent applying through a Central Authority in a Hague Convention country, a foreign reciprocating country, or a foreign country with state-level reciprocity.)
Noncustodial parent. Custodial parent ends up paying the federal offset fee given that noncustodial parent must be given full credit for offset.
2. Does your state recover costs on behalf of an initiating state that has elected to do cost recovery? If yes, describe.
No.
3. How does your state impose and collect the mandatory $35 annual fee (after collecting the first $550)? This fee is applicable in IV-D cases in which individuals who never received IV-A assistance are receiving IV-D services. (See 45 CFR 302.33(e).) See options below.
No.
3.1. Is it retained by the state from support collected?
No.
3.2. Is it paid by the individual applying for child support services?
No.
3.3. Is it recovered from the noncustodial parent?
No.
3.4. Is it paid by the state out of its state funds?
Yes.

13. Insurance Match

1. Does your state have legislation requiring insurance companies to work with child support agencies to identify claimants who owe past-due child support? Describe the requirements and provide the statutory citation. How does your state allocate payments when there is more than one claim against the noncustodial parent's income? Should the payment be divided equally or pro-rated among the cases? (See 45 CFR 303.100(a)(5).)
No Montana does not have legislation requiring insurance companies work with child support agencies to identify claimants who owe past-due child support. MCA 40-5-421 3(a) when there is more than one order for withholding against the obligor, the employer/payor should honor all withholding orders to the extent that the total amount withheld from the obligor's wages or salary does not exceed the garnishment limitations in MCA 40-5-416.When the withholding of current support is less than the amount of current support due to all obligees, the employer/payor must prorate the amount based on the amount of current support due to each. The withholding of arrears support is distributed equally among all of the obligor's cases.
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2. What criteria must a noncustodial parent meet to be eligible for your states participation in the federal insurance match program?
An obligor's assigned arrears are submitted for offset if the total assigned arrears over all cases are $150 or more. Likewise, unassigned arrears are submitted if the total for all cases reaches $500.
3. What process does your state use to intercept insurance payments?
A lien, warrant for distraint.
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4. How does another state initiate and intercept collections from your states workers compensation agency?
Another state may open an interstate case with Montana to intercept state workers' compensation benefits.
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5. Does your state participate in the Child Support Lien Network or CSLN (which provides insurance match services)?
No.

14. Family Violence

15. CSENet

1. When your state is the initiating state, does it send a Child Support Enforcement Network (CSENet) case closure transaction to let the responding state know your state has closed its case (including the reason for closure) and/or the responding state's intergovernmental services are no longer needed? (MSC P GSC15; 45 CFR 303.7(c)(11).)
Not an automated process, but the state does use CSENet to send case closure transactions to let the responding state know it has closed the case (including the reason for closure) and/or the responding state's intergovernmental services are no longer needed.
2. When your state is the responding state, does it send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that its case is closed based on one of the following reasons: (MSC P GSC16)? Initiating state failure to take an action essential for the next steps? (45 CFR 303.11(b)(17).) The initiating state requested the responding state to close the case? (45 CFR 303.7(d)(10).)
Not an automated process, but when MT is the responding state it sends A CSENet transaction to notify the initiating state that the case was closed based on reasons listed above.
3. When your state is the initiating state, does it send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the responding state that it must stop any income withholding orders or notices and close the intergovernmental case? (MSC P GSC17; 45 CFR 303.7(c)(12).)
Not an automated process, but when MT is the initiating state, it sends a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the responding state that it must stop any income withholding orders, or notices and close the intergovernmental case.
4. When your state is the responding state, does it send a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that, per its request, the case is closed, and your state has stopped its income withholding order? (MSC P GSC18; 45 CFR 303.7(d)(9).)
Not an automated process, but when MT is the responding state, it sends a CSENet case closure transaction to notify the initiating state that it has stopped any income withholding orders, or notices and has closed the intergovernmental case.
5. Does your state send CSENet transactions to request interest information? (MSC R GRINT)
Not an automated process, but yes.
6. Does your state send CSENet transactions to provide another state with interest and arrears information? (MSC P GSTAI)
Not an automated process, but yes.

16. Copies Of Orders And Payment Records

1. What are the procedures and associated costs for obtaining a certified copy of a court order?
Submit request to the appropriate a Montana Clerk of District Court to obtain a certified copy of a court order. The cost of a certified court order varies.
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2. What are the procedures and associated costs for obtaining a certified payment record?
Contact the Montana CSED caseworker to obtain a certified payment record.
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17. Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)

1. What is the statutory citation for your state's enactment of UIFSA?
MCA 40-5-1001 et seq.
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2. How does your state define the tribunal (See UIFSA 103)?
(1) The district courts and the department of public health and human services are the tribunals of this state. (2) The department of public health and human services provided for in 2-15-2201 is the support enforcement agency of this state.
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3. How many copies or sets of documents does your state need for an intergovernmental case referral that is not sent electronically?
One copy/set of the transmittal, the financial record, order(s), and birth certificate if appropriate. Orders and birth certificates must be certified.
4. Does your state require initiating states to send intergovernmental forms in a one-sided format (when sending paper copies)?
No.

18. International - Reciprocity

1. With which foreign countries or other jurisdictions (such as Quebec) does your state have state-level reciprocity for child support? (Do not include federal foreign reciprocating or Hague Convention countries.)
No official state-level reciprocity agreements.
2. Does your state exercise its option for enforcement of spousal-only orders for a foreign reciprocating country, a Hague Convention country, or a foreign country with which your state has state-level reciprocity? (See section 454(32)(B) of the Social Security Act.)
No.
3. Does your state agency accept direct applications for services from individuals residing outside the United States (See UIFSA 307 - Alternative A), or does your state's law allow discretion in accepting these applications (See UIFSA 307 - Alternative B)?
Yes, we allow direction applications.

19. International Information For Hague Convention Countries

1. When a Hague Convention country seeks registration of a Convention support order in your state, does your state allow the country to send an abstract (or summary) of the order on the Hague Abstract of a Decision form in lieu of the complete text? (See UIFSA 706(b) (1).)
Yes.
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2. Does your state send and receive pleadings and documents electronically in international cases? If yes, specify the types of pleadings and documents your state can send and receive electronically.
Not initially but can once a case is open.
3. What methods of personal service does your state use?
Law enforcement and civil process server, acknowledgment, certified mail, certified restricted delivery.
4. When establishing a child support order, what can be included as add-ons to the child support guideline amount? Please provide the relevant statutory or case law citation. (See also question 1 under Support Details.)
Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM)37.62.123
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5. Does your state encourage amicable solutions between parents to promote voluntary payment of support, such as the use of mediation, conciliation, or similar consent processes? If yes, describe.
Yes, but these services are not available from our agency.
6. What circumstances will cause your state to end child support before the normal duration?
Court ordered emancipation, death of child, in some instances transfer of child out of custodian's home.
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20. International Payments

1. How does your state disburse child support payments to foreign reciprocating and Hague Convention countries when your state is the responding state in a case?
On a case by case basis. We use direct deposit and/or try to use our debit card vendor.
2. What actions does your state take to reduce the costs and fees associated with international payment processing?
Use of direct deposit and vendor debit card program.
3. Does your state accept electronic payments from foreign reciprocating or Hague Convention countries in international cases? If so, provide payment instructions.
Yes We process electronic payments in international cases, but only to bank accounts in the U.S. Otherwise paper warrants are sent.

21. Tribal Non IV-D

1. Has your state established cooperative arrangements with any Indian tribes or tribal organizations that don't have a tribal IV-D program?
No cooperative agreements. However, there are currently four MT reservations with Title IV-D child support programs: Blackfeet Nation, Chippewa Cree Tribe, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and the Fort Belknap Indian Community.
1.1. If yes, list the tribes and identify services provided, if less than full services.

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2. Does your state have any IV-D attorneys licensed to practice in the courts of Indian tribes or tribal organizations that don't have tribal IV-D programs?
No.