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Montana State Law

A. General/Program-At-A-Glance

A1. How many local IV-D offices are in your state (excluding agencies with cooperative agreements)?
Montana is divided into five regional offices: Great Falls, Billings, Butte, Missoula, Helena.
A2. Does your state have statutes that define the attorney-client relationship between the state's attorney and the agency only?
Yes
A2.1. If yes, what is the statutory citation?
MCA40-5-202(3)
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A2.2. Did your state have the state's bar counsel issue an opinion setting the attorney-client relationship?
No
A2.3. If yes, please explain.
N/A

B. UIFSA

B1. What is the statutory citation for your state's UIFSA?
MCA40-5-1001 et seq.
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B2. How many copies or sets of documents does your state need for an intergovernmental case referral?
One copy/set of the transmittal, the financial record, order(s), and birth certificate if appropriate. Orders and birth certificates must be certified.

C. Reciprocity

C1. With which foreign countries does your state have a state level reciprocal agreement for child support enforcement? (Do not include federal foreign reciprocating countries in your answer.)
Canadian provinces and all countries with which the U.S. has agreements.
C1.1. Does your state exercise its option to receive Federal Funding Participation (FFP) for enforcement of spousal-only orders for foreign reciprocating countries?
No
C1.2. If yes, please explain.
N/A
C2. Has your state established reciprocity with any Native American tribal courts?
No
C2.1. If yes, list the tribes and identify services provided, if less than full services.
No reciprocity. However there are currently four MT tribes with Title IV-D child support programs: Blackfeet Nation, Chippewa Cree Tribe, Confederated Tribe of Salish and Kootenai, Fort Belknap Indian Community
C3. Does your state accept direct applications from parents in non-reciprocating or non-treaty countries? **
Yes
C4. 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).) **

D. Age of Majority

D1. What is the age of majority in your state?
18 or upon graduation from high school, whichever is later, but no later than 19.
D2. What is the statutory citation for the age of majority?
MCA40-4-208(5);40-5-201(2)
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D3. 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.
D4. Does the date of the order determine the law that is applied?
Yes
D4.1. If yes, please explain.
Orders entered before October 1, 1991 are subject to termination at age 18, unless the parents agree upon a later termination date.
D5. Does child support end if the child leaves the household, but does not emancipate?
No
D5.1. Optional comments regarding emancipation.
Support may terminate if some other party/entity assumes responsibility for the child.
D6. Does your state allow support to be paid beyond the age of majority under any circumstances (for example, the child is handicapped or in college)?
Yes
D6.1. If yes, please explain.
Life of order may be extended by written agreement or express provision of decree.
D7. Does your state automatically reduce current support owed for remaining children after one of the children in an order reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates?
No
D7.1. If yes, please describe the procedure.
N/A
D8. Does your state accept a application from a party after all of the children on the case have emancipated?
D8.1 If not, how does this affect interstate referrals?

E. Statute of Limitations

E1. What is your State's statute of limitations for 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, unless statute of limitations is tolled.
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E2. What is your State's statute of limitations for paternity establishment?
MCA40-6-108. Child's 18th birthday.
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E3. Is dormancy revival/renewal possible?
Yes
E3.1. If yes, please explain the circumstances when it's possible and how long it's possible.
A judgment may be enforced for a period of 10 years from docketing; a writ of execution may be issued to enforce a judgment for a period of 6 years, which may be extended by the court for up to an additional 4 years. A judgment lien continues for 6 years following docketing of the judgment and then expires by operation of law. A judgment may be extended past its 10-year duration only by filing a separate action to obtain a new judgment on the existing judgment.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided

F. Support Details

F1. What guideline type or method does your state use to calculate child support (for example, Shared Income 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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F2. Does your state charge interest on arrears?
No
F2.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F3. Does your state charge interest on retroactive support?
No
F3.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
N/A
F4. Does your state charge interest on adjudicated arrears?
No
F4.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F5. Will your state enforce a medical debt for 50 percent of the uninsured portion?
Yes
F5.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
If the debt is reduced to a judgment.
F6. Does your state elect to recover costs or charge fees in your IV-D state plan?
Yes
F6.1. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligee?
Application fee (non-assistance cases), tax intercept fees. May be fees/costs associated with some judicial proceedings in rare instances.
F6.2. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligor?
Application fee (non-assistance cases) if obligor requested services, genetic testing fees. May be fees/costs associated with some judicial proceedings in rare instances.
F7. Does your state recover costs on behalf of the initiating state?
Yes
F7.1. Optional comments regarding recovery of initiating state's fees.
Genetic testing costs are the only costs recovered.
F8. What is the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute to establish or enforce child support?
MCA40-4-210,40-5-1008,40-5-231
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F9. Does your state establish, enforce, or modify spousal maintenance orders?
Yes
F9.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
Establish - No; Modify - No; Enforce - Yes, if providing child support enforcement services.
F10. Does your state require the initiating state to include information about the new spouse or partner upon a request for establishment or modification? (See General Testimony, AT-11-07)
No
F10.1. Optional comments regarding required information on spouse or partner.
N/A
F11. How does your state impose and collect the mandatory annual fee applicable to IV-D cases for people who never received IV-A assistance?
The State of Montana has chosen to pay the fee out of its own funds.
F11.1. Does your state collect the fee by retaining the support collected on behalf of the person but not the first $500?
NO
F11.2 Does your state collect the fee from the person applying for IV-D services?
No
F11.3. Does your state collect the fee from the absent parent?
No
F11.4. Does your state pay the fee out of its own funds?
Yes
F12. When did your state implement the required Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) limited-assignment provision?
October 1, 2009
F13. Will your state pass through (and disregard for TANF eligibility purposes) the excepted portion to families in current assistance cases?
No
F14. Does your state participate in the pass-through in former assistance cases?
No
F14.1. If yes, provide the date.
F15. Will your state discontinue eligible assignments under the DRA of 2005?
No
F15.1. If yes, list the eligible assignments your state would discontinue.
N/A
F15.2. When will your state discontinue each type of assignment?
N/A
F16. Does your state follow PRWORA or DRA distribution ordering rules in former assistance cases?
PRWORA
F17. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving TANF with a different payee?
Receipt of a IV-A referral that a child has been approved for TANF benefits in the household of the custodian. Order follows the child MCA 40-5-290.
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F17.1. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving Medicaid only with a different payee?
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 MCA40-5-290.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.2. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is with a different payee and not receiving TANF or Medicaid only?
Submitting an application for IV-D services, a copy of the order for child support and custody, or assignment of child support, if applicable.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
F17.3. How does your state collect the $25.00 annual fee on never-TANF cases?
Montana pays the fees from its own funds
F18. Will your state recover costs from a U.S. resident non-custodial parent in foreign reciprocating or treaty cases? **
Yes
F18.1 If yes, describe all costs arising in practice (for example, court costs or legal fees). **
Costs ordered by Administrative Law Judge for our IV-D services.
F19. Does your state send CSENet transactions to request interest information?(MSC R GRINT)
F20. Does your state send CSENet transactions to provide another state with interest and arrears information? (MSC P GSTAI)

G. Income Withholding

G1. What specific source of income is not subject to withholding?
MCA40-5-403(5)(b). Amounts required by law to be withheld (taxes, etc.) and amounts exempted from judgment, execution, or attachment.
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G2. Does your state have any limits on income withholding in addition to the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits?
Yes
G2.1. If yes, what are those limits?
If the total withholding for child support (current support plus arrears) and health insurance exceeds the limits of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), the current support and the health insure have priority before arrears.
G3. What is the allowable fee per pay period employers may charge for processing income withholding payments?
MCA 40-5-416(c). Payer may withhold a fee not to exceed $5.00 per month as compensation for administrative costs of each withholding.
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G4. After receiving an income withholding order or notice, what is the date by which the employer is required to implement income withholding?
Employer must implement wage withholding on the next pay period.
G5. What is the date by which an employer must remit amounts withheld from an employee's pay?
The payer has 7 days to remit amounts withheld from an employee's pay.
G6. What are your state's procedures for sanctioning employers for not implementing income withholding?
MCA40-5-424,40-5-226. Employer liable for amounts that should have been withheld. May also pursue civil contempt, which carries a fine of up to $500 for each contempt.
G7. What is the penalty to an employer for failure to remit payments withheld?
See G-6
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G8. Does your state allow direct income withholding of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits across state lines?
No
G8.1. Explain your process for receiving direct withholding orders across state lines.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G8.2. What documents are required to intercept UI benefits?
Montana does not allow direct withholding of Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
G9. Does your state allow direct income withholding of workers' compensation (WC) benefits across state lines?
No
G9.1. Optional comments regarding direct withholding of WC benefits across state lines.
G10. How does an obligor contest income withholding in your state?
MCA40-5-413, 414. Has 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.
G11. When the obligor has more than one claim for child support against his or her income, what is your state's priority scheme for income-withholding orders? For example, the employer should allocate the available amount for withholding equally among all orders or prorate available amount across orders.
MCA40-5-423. An Income Withholding Order issued by Montana CSED has priority over Income Withholding Orders issued by a Montana court or a court agency of another state; voluntary or involuntary assignment of wages; other voluntary deductions from the obligor's income, levies, writs of execution, or garnishments of the obligor's income; and any other claims by creditors.
G11.1. If an employer in your state receives more than one income withholding order for child support from other states, can the employer request your assistance?
Yes
G11.2. If assistance is not available, explain how employers should proceed. Provide a citation for the state law that governs how they should proceed.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G12. Does your state require any mandatory deductions, such as union dues or medical insurance premiums, to arrive at net pay from gross pay when calculating disposable income for child support purposes?
Montana allows, but does not require, that gross income be reduced by the deduction of expenses: 1) required by law, such as state and federal income tax; 2) required as a condition of employment, such as safety equipment and union dues; and, 3) necessary to the production of income, as in self-employment. In addition, Montana's guidelines provide specific deductions for other legal dependents and for court ordered child support and health insurance for children other than those in the calculation. Finally, Montana allows deduction of a self-support reserve in the amount of 130% of the current federal poverty guideline for a single person.
G13. When does your state require the employer to send notice of an employee's termination?
MCA40-5-421, "promptly"
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G14. How long should an employer retain the income withholding orders (IWO) after terminating an employee, in anticipation of reinstating the withholding should the employee be rehired?
Employers should keep the IWO until notified by the IV-D agency that the order is modified or terminated.
G15. Does your state charge any fees to the obligor that the employer must withhold and remit to the state?
No
G16. Does your state offer an alternate web-based payment mechanism in addition to paper and EFT/EDI?
Yes
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G17. Can another state send a direct income withholding order to any of the following in your state: employer, financial institution (explain which institutions), bureau of workers' compensation, or other income payer?
Yes, to an employer.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G18. If there is insufficient income for an employer to withhold for both the total amount of child support and medical support, describe your state's prioritization between child support and medical support.
Both unassigned and assigned current and arrears are paid before medical support.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
G19. If your state has more than one state or jurisdiction requesting to collect support for the same obligor/obligee combination under the same court order for the same children, (for example where current support goes to the CP and other states have claims for past periods based on payment of TANF), what is your state's procedure for distributing payments among these arrears claims?
Payments are apportioned to all cases. CP arrears first, then MT TANF arrears, next other state(s)arrears.
G20. If your practice for distribution of payments between cases is directed by state law or rule, what is the citation?
Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) Rule 37.62.307
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G21. Does your state's law require a signature on the income withholding order?
No

H. Paternity

H1. When your state enters an order establishing paternity, do you also address issues of custody and visitation?
No
H1.1. If yes, please explain.
H2. What is the percentage of probability for genetic testing that creates a rebuttable or conclusive presumption of paternity?
95%, MCA40-6-105(f)
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H3. Optional comments regarding legislation that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive.
On the condition that neither parent withdraws the acknowledgment within 60 days after it was signed. MCA40-6-105.
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H4. What is the effective date of the state law that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive?
07/01/1997
H4.1. Were acknowledgments prior to that effective date rebuttable?
Yes
H4.2. Optional comments regarding paternity acknowledgments prior to that date.
Acknowledgments of paternity must be filed with state vital statistics in order to rise to level of presumption.
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H5. Does marriage constitute a rebuttable presumption of paternity?
Yes
H5.1. If yes, how is the presumption rebutted?
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 is irrebuttable and may not be further challenged. 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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H6. If the father's name is on the birth certificate and paternity has not been established by any other means, does this mean conclusive determination of paternity?
No
H6.1. If no, briefly explain.
Father's name on birth certificate is mere evidence of paternity, but is not conclusive.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H7. What is the effective date of the state law that makes a father's name on the birth certificate a conclusive determination of paternity?
N/A
H8. Does your state have any other paternity-related presumptions?
Yes
H8.1. If yes, briefly explain.
MCA42-2-202 Putative Father Registry
H9. Does your state have a putative fathers' registry?
Yes
H9.1. If yes, what is the name of that entity?
The Vital Statistics bureau within the Montana Department of Health and Human Services(DPHHS).
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H10. Are there any fees for requesting searches, paternity documents and data from your state's bureau of vital statistics?
Yes
H10.1. If yes, please describe any circumstances under which these fees may be waived.
See link below to Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 37.8.116
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H11. Is common-law marriage recognized in your state?
Yes
H11.1. If yes, briefly describe the standard that defines common-law marriage.
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 third, the parties confirmed their marriage by cohabitation and public repute.
H11.2. When did your current common-law standard go into effect?
05/26/1864
H11.3. If there was a common-law standard in effect prior to your current standard, what was that standard and when did it go into effect?
Common-law marriage has been a feature of Montana law since territorial days.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
H12. When the custodial party and/or other witnesses are not able to appear in person for paternity hearings, what methods of testimony are acceptable; for example, written, videotape, and teleconferencing?
Hearings are conducted by teleconferencing as per statute MCA40-5-233
H13. Give the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute and list any special provisions.
MCA40-5-1008;40-5-231(1)
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H14. Does your state recover genetic testing costs for another state?
Yes
H14.1. If yes, please explain.
If the genetic testing cost is part of a judgment.
H15. List any documents required to get the father's name on the birth certificate. For example, is an acknowledgment of paternity needed?
Acknowledgment of paternity, an order from a District Court or from a Montana CSED Administrative Order to add the father to the birth certificate. In cases in which the parents claim to be married, no document is needed to add the father to the birth record; it's added based on a marriage presumption.
H16. If there is more than one child with the same custodial party and the same alleged father, should one set of documents be sent to your state (with a paternity affidavit for each child) or should a separate packet be sent for each child?
One set of documents; a paternity affidavit is required for each child.

I. Support Order Establishment

I1. Does your state use an administrative, judicial, or a combined process to establish a support obligation?
Administrative is process utilized by the CSED; judicial process in non-IV-D cases.
I1.1. If your state can establish under both, under what circumstances would the administrative process be used?
If no prior judicial order exists or a prior judicial order authorizes use of administrative process.
I1.2. Under what circumstances would a judicial process would be used?
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.
I1.3. If your state uses an administrative process, provide the statutory citations for your state's administrative procedures.
MCA40-5, Parts 2 & 8
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I2. In setting support under your state's guidelines, whose income is considered in addition to the noncustodial (NCP's) (for example, new spouses or children)?
Income of both parents is considered in setting support. Income of a child, new spouse, etc. may be considered as a variance.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I3. What criteria for rebutting your presumptive guidelines have been established in your state?
Findings of clear and convincing evidence that the application of the standards (MCA40-4-204) and child support guidelines are unjust to the child or to any of the parties or that the amount determined under the guidelines is inappropriate in a particular case.
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I4. Will your state establish support orders for prior periods?
Yes
I4.1. If yes, for what prior periods (for example, birth of the child, date of separation, prenatal expenses, 5 years retroactive)?
MCA40-5-226. 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.
I4.2. What information or documentation does your State require to proceed?
Completed Child Support Enforcement 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. The waiver is available by clicking on the link below. 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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I4.3. Will your state allow a petition for support when the only issue is retroactive support?
No
I4.4. If there are limitations upon your state's ability to establish support for prior periods, specify those limitations.
See I4.1
I5. What actions can your state perform using the administrative process? For example, does your state use an administrative process for paternity, establishment, modification, and the enforcement of child support?
Yes, for all.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
I6. What is your state's statutory authority for the administrative process?
In general, MCA40-5-201 et seq.
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I7. Is there a local state law that allows an interstate administrative subpoena?
Yes, MCA40-5-206(3) allows service of an interstate administrative subpoena to public utilities, cable television companies and financial institutions.
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I8. Does your state require that a custodial party receiving public assistance, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child?
If it is a Montana order issued after October 1, 1993, the order follows the child.
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I9. Does your state require that a custodial party who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before establishing an order for support for that child when public assistance is not being expended?
If it is a Montana order issued after October 1, 1993, the order follows the child.
I10. 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.
I11. When your state has issued an order that reserves support and now child support should now be ordered, should the other state request an establishment or a modification?
modification
I12. 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 custodian obtain legal custody before a support order is modified or established?
No
I13. 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 custodian obtain legal custody before support can be redirected to the new payee?
No
I14. What methods of personal service does your state use? **
Law enforcement and civil process server, acknowledgment, certified mail, certified restricted delivery
I15. Does your state send and receive pleadings and documents electronically in international cases? **
No
I15.1 If yes, specify the types of pleadings and documents your state can send and receive electronically. **
Some email communication permissible.
I16. When establishing a child support order, what can be included as add-ons to the child support guideline amount? **
All "add-ons" must be part of the bottom line of the child support obligation.
I17. Please provide the relevant statutory or case law citation. **
Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM)37.62.123
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I18. Does your state encourage amicable solutions between parents in order to promote voluntary payment of support, such as the use of mediation, conciliation, or similar consent processes? **
Yes
I18.1 If yes, indicate the appropriate responses. **
We have the ability to finalize orders by consent.

J. Support Enforcement

J1. Indicate whether your state has the following enforcement remedies available. Also indicate what procedures are available (i.e., judicial, administrative, or both).
J1.1. Are your state income tax refund procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative
J2. Is the lien process in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative procedure
J2.1. What are the trigger criteria for filing a lien?
Delinquency greater than $150 Debt unenforceable by income with-holding Value of property exceeds value of any exemptions, service of process and execution, and amount of any superior liens.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J2.2. Where are your state liens filed?
Real Property-County Clerk of District Court where property located Under Montana District Court are 21 Districts, 56 Counties. Personal Property-State Office of Secretary of State, SOS, (non-licensed, non-Titled PP) MV-State Department of Justice Motor Vehicle Division
J2.3. Does your state charge a fee for filing a lien?
Yes
J2.4. If yes, please indicate the amount.
Motor vehicle liens: $8 for autos, motorcycles, RVs, for boats, snowmobiles, off-road vehicles. Secretary of State UCC liens: $7.00
J.3. Does your state enforce property seizure and sale?
Yes
J3.1. Are the property seizure and sale procedures judicial, administrative, or both?
Both
J4. Are the MSFIDM freeze and seize procedures in your state judicial, administrative, or both?
Both
J4.1. When must an NCP receive notice that a MSFIDM freeze and seize action is an enforcement remedy and may be used by the state to collect delinquent child support?
No notice required. However, the IV-D agency includes a warning notice about available enforcement remedies in the monthly statement sent to obligors not paying under income withholding. Also, in notices initiating specific enforcement action, the IV-D agency lists additional enforcement actions that can be taken, including seizure & sale.
J4.2. Does your state's income withholding definition include amounts in financial institutions?
yes
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J4.3. Does your state require a new notice to be sent when intent to freeze and seize is sent?
No
J4.3.1 If yes, who notifies the NCP, the state or the financial institution?
N/A
J5. What are the time frames if a new notice of intent to freeze and seize must be sent?
N/A
J5.1. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for freeze and seize action in your state?
$150 minimum delinquency. No specified number of months delinquent. Medical benefits used solely to pay for medical care and trusts accounts that do not belong to the obligor are exempted.
J5.2. What is the minimum delinquent dollar amount that makes an obligor eligible for asset seizure?
$150 minimum delinquency. No specified number of months delinquent. Medical benefits used solely to pay for medical care and trusts accounts that do not belong to the obligor are exempted.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.3. Is there a specified amount of time of delinquency required prior to proceeding with freeze and seize?
None
J5.3.1. If yes, please provide the time frame.
N/A
J5.4. Are only a certain percentage of the obligor's financial assets eligible for freeze and seize?
Yes
J5.4.1. If yes, provide the percentage.
Limited exemptions are provided for MCA 25-13-608,609,614
J5.4.2. Is the percentage different for joint accounts?
No
J5.4.3. If yes, describe.
J5.5. Does your state require a minimum amount of money in a financial account for the funds to be eligible for freeze and seize action? If so, provide the amount.
No
J5.6. Who is responsible for applying the minimum amount, your state or the financial institution?
J5.7. How long does the obligor or other account holders have to contact your state child support enforcement agency or court to challenge the Freeze and Seize action?
Ten working days from the date the warrant/notice is mailed to request a hearing.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.8. If state law or policy allows for a second contest to a freeze and seize action, how long does the obligor or joint account holder have to contact your child support agency or court to challenge the freeze and seize action?
N/A
J5.9. On what basis can an obligor and/or other account holder challenge a Freeze and Seize action?
The action may be challenged 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 judgment.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.10. Is your state's complaint review process judicial, administrative, or both?
Judicial for property seized by Writ of Execution. Administrative for property seized by warrant for distraint. The district court or child support agency must hold the hearing within ten days of receiving request. The district court hearing is limited to whether the property is exempt.
J5.11. What are your state's penalties for incorrect seizures?
No specified dollar amount. Obligor may initiate an action against the agency in district court to recover damages.
J5.12. Is the second challenge administrative, judicial, or both?
J5.13. What is your state's appeal time frame, unique appeal requirements and recourse for non-debtor accounts?
10 days from date of service. Petition for review of administrative hearing decision must be filed w/the court within 30 days. The total amount of a joint account is subject to execution to satisfy a judgment. Non-debtor can request IV-D agency refund non-commingled amounts; if not satisfied, can initiate action is district court
J5.14. Is the freeze and seize operation in your state centralized or automated?
Automated but not centralized.
J5.15. Are there additional freeze and seize requirements or limitations not otherwise noted in this profile?
By law, if the property holder is the obligor's employer, the writ of execution or warrant for distraint must be accompanied by a description of the statutory exemption for net earnings. CSED policy extends the requirement to cover all property holders - including financial institutions-on whom a writ of execution or warrant for distraint is served.
J5.16. Does your state have procedures to liquidate non-liquid assets (for example, stocks, bonds, etc)?
No
J5.16.1 If yes, provide the state authority and the procedures financial institutions should follow to liquidate non-liquid assets.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.17. Does your state law or policies instruct the financial institution or state to hold the frozen assets during the challenge or appeal time frame or freeze period?
Yes
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J5.18. How long does the financial institution have to send the obligor's assets to your child support enforcement agency?
Dependent upon type of seizure instrument. 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. MCA40-5-247 Writ of execution: The execution my 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. MCA25-13-404
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J6. Does your state withhold state funds or benefits?
Yes
J6.1. If yes, is the method of withholding state benefits judicial, administrative or both?
Workers' compensation - Yes, administrative and judicial; Unemployment Compensation - Yes, administrative procedure Other state funds - Yes, administrative procedure.
J7. Describe any other administrative enforcement procedures your state may have.
Suspension of Licenses: Drivers, Professional, Recreational
J8. Describe any other judicial enforcement procedures your state may have.
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.
J9. If your State has established specific procedures for registering administrative liens, what are the procedures that another State must follow?
The other state must file the lien with the appropriate office, depending upon the type of property, in the appropriate county or state office.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
J10. Which of your state's enforcement remedies are available without judicial actions?
Everything except modification process of a Montana District Court support order.
J11. Describe your state's procedures for registering and enforcing another state's order.
Consistent with UIFSA statutes MCA 40-5-1055-1062.
J12. Describe additional judicial procedures required after registration, if any, to enforce a support order.
None
J13. Has your state adopted the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA)?
Yes
J13.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation.
MCA 25-9-501 et seq.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
J14. What are your state's criteria for reporting an obligor's child support information to credit bureaus?
The obligor owes a support debt equal to or greater than seven months support obligation, or is an arrears only case.
J15. To which credit bureaus does your state report an obligor's child support information?
Equifax, TransUnion, and Innovis
J16. Is the method for credit bureau reporting judicial, administrative, or both?
Administrative
J17. These questions describe state procedures for Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases (AEI). Refer to OCSE-AT-08-06 for additional information about AEI.
J18. What data matches with financial institutions and other entities (and the seizure of such assets) are available through AEI in your state? Examples may include liens and levies, MSFIDM, FIDM, state benefits (lump sum), state lottery, state income tax, etc.
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.
J19. 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.
J20. What mandatory data elements does your state need to process AEI requests?
Requesting state's case number, obligor's: name, address, social security number, date of birth, and amount of the monthly support obligation.
For Additional Information - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pol/AT/2008/at-08-06.htm
J21. Which additional data elements would aid your state in processing AEI requests?
Obligor's aliases, if any, date of the last payment, names of obligee and children
J22. How many copies/sets of documents does your state require with an AEI request?
One copy of each document, but a separate request for each case with the same obligor
J23. What are the criteria that must be met to deem an obligor eligible for any AEI matches available in the state, aside from liens/levies and MSFIDM?
Debt exceeding $500 or three months support, whichever is less. Asset must in the form of cash, collectible by one-time enforcement (vs. ongoing), and seizable immediately or within a reasonable time, with a date of availability provided; holder must have an office, agent, or other physical location in Montana. For seize-only requests: asset conditions.
J24. Does your state's law require financial institutions doing business in your state to accept freeze and seize actions directly from other states?
No
J24.1. If no, then describe the process for a freeze and seize action from another child support agency (for example, Transmittal #1 or Transmittal #3), and list the 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.
J25. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified copy of a court order?
It is necessary to contact a Montana Clerk of Court in order to obtain a certified copy of a court order.
J26. What is the procedure for obtaining a certified payment record?
Contact the Montana CSED caseworker to obtain a certified payment record.
J27. Is there a cost for requesting a certified copy of a court order or payment record?
The cost of a certified court order varies. There is no charge for a certified payment record.
J28. What are your state's policies and practices for driver's license revocation for nonpayment of support and reinstatement, especially for low income parents or a hardship exemption?
The MT CSED 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-d-day response period that begins with service of the notice and the 30 days following the response period in which the NOISL 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..
J29. What triggers a driver's license revocation?
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.
J29.1 Is there a threshold arrears amount that serves as the basis to revoke or suspend a driver's license?
Yes
J29.2 If yes, what is the amount?
A support debt equal to or greater than six months' support obligation or the obligor defaults on a license suspension payment plan.
J30. Under what conditions may a noncustodial party restore the driver's license?
The obligor enters into an approved payment plan, the MT CSED issues an order dismissing the Notice of Intent to Suspsend License (rare), the obligor pays the support debt in full.
J30.1 What is the process for restoring a driver's license?
The MT CSED issues a Motion and Order for License Suspension Action to stay or to lift the suspension based on facts of the case, such as a payment plan agreement or payment of the arrears amount in full.
J31. Does your state allow temporary or conditional driver's licenses?
No
J31.1 If yes, what are the conditions?
At the discretion of the CSED caseworker a temporary stay of the suspension is possible to facilitate the collection of support debt. Examples: A truck driver stopped en route in another state held for a suspended license, or a specialist in a geographically remote area where a replacement is not immediately available.
J32. Describe any innovations or special practices your state uses regarding driver's license revocation and reinstatement.
N/A
J33. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
Yes
J33.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for administrative offset?
Yes
J33.2 What is the dollar amount?
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.
J35. When your state is the initiating state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
Yes
J35.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
No
J36. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for federal administrative offset?
No
J36.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for federal administrative offset?
N/A
J36.2 What is the dollar amount?
N/A
J38. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for insurance match?
No
J38.1 If yes, does your state require a minimum dollar amount greater than $25.00 before submitting delinquent cases for insurance match?
N/A
J38.2 What is the dollar amount?
N/A
J39. When your state is the responding state, does it submit delinquent cases to the Debtor File for passport denial?
No
J40. Does your state give the NCP credit for Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefits received directly by the CP?
No

K. Modification and Review/Adjustment

K1. How frequently does your state conduct order reviews in IV-D cases (for example, every year, every three years)?
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. A significant change in circumstances has occurred.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
K2. Briefly describe your state's modification procedure.
TANF and non-TANF cases - upon request of CP or NCP
K3. What are your criteria for modification (for example, $50 or 20% from present order)?
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 CSED's proposed order must be reviewed by the Court and adopted or rejected.
K4. Which of the following criteria for demonstrating a change in circumstances apply for modifying an order?
K4.1. The earnings of the obligor have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.2. The earnings of the obligee have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.3. The needs of a party or the child(ren) have substantially increased or decreased.
Yes
K4.4. The cost of living as measured by the Federal Bureau of Vital Statistics has changed.
Yes
K4.5. The child(ren) has extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance.
No
K4.6. There has been a substantial change in childcare expenses.
Yes
K4.7. 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%.
K5. Does your state have cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for orders?
No
K5.1. If yes, what index does your state use?
N/A
K6. How does your state credit SSA disability to current and past-due support?
Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 37.62.144
K7. Does your state abate support? For example, when the child is not living with the CP for more than 30 days and there has not been a change in custody or when the NCP is in prison, etc.
No
K7.1. If yes, explain the circumstances?
A debtor may claim equitable estoppel as a defense to enforcement under certain circumstances. A court may determine that a child living with the absent parent with consent of the custodial parent may act as a defense to enforcement.
K7.2. What is the statutory citation for your abatement law?
No statute
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
K7.3. What documents does your state require for each type of referral other than UIFSA referrals? For example, pay records and certifications for TANF, etc.
Certified: support order, debt computation, and birth certificate if applicable.
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
K7.4. What information does your state need to obtain copies of paternity acknowledgements/affidavits and birth records, including where to make requests and the cost of processing the requests.
A copy of a Montana birth certificate can be obtained on-line at www.vitalchek.com
K8. What information does your state require to register an out-of-state order for enforcement/modification?
Registration is generally not required for enforcement actions.
K9. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is no established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support?
No, not at the same rate as current support. Collection of arrears is 1/24th of the total arreage, or 25% of income. MCA 40-5-416(1)(b)
K9.1. When a child reaches the age of emancipation and arrears are owed on the order, and there is an established payment on arrears, does your state statute allow collection to continue at the same rate as current support, current support plus arrears, or the arrears payment amount only?
No not at the same rate as current support. Collection of arrears is 1/24th of the total arrearage, or 25% of income. MCA 40-5-416(1)(b)
K10. 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.

L. Payments

L1. Does your state define a lump sum payment?
No
L1.1 If yes, give your state's definition. (Be specific, for example, severance pay, incentives, relocation lump sum payments, etc.).
N/A
L1.2 Provide the statutory citation.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
L2. Does your state law require employers to report lump sum payments?
No
L2.1 If yes, give the statutory citation or rule.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
L3. Are employers required to report lump sum payments for all income-withholding orders (including cases with no arrears)?
No
L3.1 If yes, what is the threshold amount at which a lump sum payment must be reported?
N/A
L4. How are employers instructed to report a pending lump sum?
N/A
L5. What is the timeframe within which the child support enforcement agency must respond to the employer with instructions for attaching the lump sum?
N/A
L6. Does your state use the income-withholding order to attach the lump sum payment?
No
L7. Does your state use the lien/levy process to attach lump sum payments?
No
L7.1. If yes, what is the name of the document your state uses to attach non-wage lump sum payments?
N/A
L8. What other documents does your state use to attach lump sum payments?
Warrant for Distraint or Writ of Execution
L9. If the lump sum payment is considered earnings as defined by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), does your state have higher limits on withholding than the CCPA limit?
No
L9.1. If yes, what are those limits?
Montana does not require the CCPA limitations, unless a portion of the payment is attributable to wages.
L9.2. If the lump sum is not considered to be earnings as defined by the CCPA, does your state limit the withholding/attachment?
No
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
L9.3. If yes, what are those limits?
N/A
L9.4. If no, what percentage is the employer required to withhold?
Not less than 25% of the obligor's disposable earnings MCA 40-5-309.
L10. If an employer pays the lump sum in addition to regular wages in a single payment, would the CCPA limits apply?
Yes
L10.1 If yes, would the employer only withhold for that period's obligation?
The direct deposit program is managed by the MT CSED.
L11. Does your state have a direct deposit program?
Yes
L11.1 If so, specify the vendor.
No vendor
L12. Does your state have a debit card program?
Yes
L12.1 If so, specify the vendor.
U.S. Bank ReliaCard
L13. Is the debit card used for any other state government programs (TANF, SNAP, etc.)?
The debit card is for child support only.
L13.1 If so, are there fees involved?
Yes
L14. What are the fees associated with using the card?
Fees associated with the card depend upon the ATM used. A standard replacement card is free; however if the replacement card is expedited the cost is $15. After 365 days of inactivity there is a $2 per month inactivity fee.
L15. How does your state collect child support payments from an obligor? **
Collection is done here, in Montana.
L16. How does your state disburse child support payments to foreign reciprocating and treaty 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.
L17. 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.
L18. Does your state process electronic payments in international cases? **
Yes
L18.1 If so, describe the process. **
We process electronic payment in international cases, but only to bank accounts in the U.S. Otherwise paper warrants are sent.
L19. What is your state's International Bank Account Number (IBAN)? **
N/A

M. Insurance Match

M1. Note: The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits may apply to any insurance payments issued as an income loss replacement.

For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M1.1. Additional information on the CCPA.

For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M2. Does your state have legislation that requires insurance companies doing business in your state to provide, exchange, or look up information with or for your state IV-D agency to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support?
No
M2.1. If yes, provide the statutory citation
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M2.1.2. What information is an insurer required to provide, exchange, or look up with your state's IV-D agency?
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M2.2. How long before making a payment to a claimant must an insurer provide information to the agency?
M2.3. What criteria must an obligor meet to be eligible for your state's insurance match, exchange, look up, or intercept program? For example, is the law limited to specific claimants (such as policyholder, beneficiary or joint policyholder), types of claims (such as life, property/casualty, or workers' compensation), or specific policies (such as annuities, short term/long term disability)?
M2.4. Must the obligor meet a monetary threshold (dollar amount or percentage of payment) to be eligible for your state's insurance match program?
$25.00 arrears threshold
M2.5. What does the law require an insurer to do to determine whether a claimant owes past-due child support (for example, log into a secure web application and enter identifying information about the claimant)?
N/A
M2.6. Does your state law provide an alternative method or measure that an insurer may use to determine whether the claimant owes past-due child support (for example, participation in the OCSE Insurance Match Program satisfies the requirement)?
M2.7. Does your state law establish a penalty for an insurer that fails to comply with the requirement for determining whether a claimant owes past-due child support? If so, provide the statutory citation.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M2.8. Does your state law protect an insurer from liability for acting in accordance with the insurance match law?
M3. If there is no law, are insurers required to respond to subpoenas or requests for information and liens/levies or IWOs?
Yes
M3.1. Provide the statutory citation.
MCA 40-5-202, 242, 247, 248 MCA 40-5-401 et seq.
For Additional Information - exit disclaimer
M4. What forms does your state use to intercept insurance payments, settlements, or awards (such as IWO, Notice of Lien/Levy)?
M5. Who is required notify the NCP of the insurance intercept activity: the child support enforcement agency, the insurance agency, or both?
M5.1. Provide your statutory citation for notifying an NCP of insurance intercept.
N/A
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M5.2. Once notified, is there an appeal period for the obligor and what is its length? Give the statutory citation.
No
For Additional Information - No Link Provided
M6. Are there attorney fees associated with the insurance intercept activity?
M7. How does another state initiate and intercept collections from your state workers' compensation agency?
Another state may open an interstate case with Montana to intercept state workers' compensation benefits.
M7.1. What is the process, the points of contact, and what forms?

N. Case Closure

N1. Does your state send a CSENet case closure transaction to let the responding state know its intergovernmental services are no longer needed? (MSC P GSC15)
N2. Does your state 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) (a)Initiating state failure to take an action essential for the next steps? (b)The initiating state requested the responding state to close the case?
N3. Does your state 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)
N4. Does your state 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)