Montana Child Support

Montana Child Support

Montana Child Support

Montana Child Support

Montana Child Support is a crucial part of helping families raise children.


The state of Montana MT has a program known as the Income Shares Model which determines the amount that parents must pay in child support. Regardless of if you are married or not, both parents are expected to financially support their children.

Income Shares Model MT

The courts of Montana use the Income Shares Model to estimate the amount of child support a parent pays. This is calculated using the model as it determines what a parent would spend on their child if the parents were still together and living in the same home. The estimated amount of money is then divided between the parents based on their individual incomes.

What is child support in Montana?

The courts use an income-share model to estimate the amount of child support a parent pays. This is calculated based on what it would be like if they were still together and living in one house.  That amount gets divided between both parents accordingly, using their individual salaries or wages, after tax dollars, and how much has to be spent for necessities such as food costs etc.


The Child Support Guidelines Worksheet for Montana offers a basic understanding of how much child support should be paid and when it’s due. The charts are updated regularly so that parents can stay up-to-date with what items cost.  Once you’ve completed your affidavit about income (which doesn’t take too long), consult the worksheet for information on determining an amount of child support based on those numbers.

Calculating child support in Montana , MT

The amount of child support parents must pay can be calculated with this simple example. Parents with a total monthly net income of $5,000 would have to set aside $1,000 in basic child support, according to the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Parents would then divide their income by the total combined income to determine how much of the $1,000 they would each be responsible for.  

Montana child support calculator

The Montana Child Support Formula is a complicated system that aims to calculate the amount of child support each parent should pay. The formula takes into account both parents’ income, as well their respective proportions for Calculating Net Family Income (CFI) or Weekly Editing Allowance(WA).


A higher-paid person makes more money than others and has responsibility over covering a certain percentage in comparison with his/her share.  This means he will end up paying slightly less but still remains accountable if anything changes during the timeframe of the child support agreement. 


Parents can calculate the percentage of child support they must pay by taking both gross income and adjusted gross income into account. The gross income of both parents is the combination of unearned and earned incomes.


Gross incomes in Montana include:


  • Wages or salary


  • Commissions


  • Bonuses


  • Tips


  • Profit sharing


  • Interest earned on an asset


  • Stock dividends


Other factors that are included in child support decisions in MT include:


  • The number of children involved


  • Other dependent children of each parent


  • Cost of medical insurance premiums in MT


  • MT Daycare costs


  • Other child support obligations


  • The number of overnights the child spends with each parent


Montana child support laws permit judges to disregard the guidelines under certain circumstances.

Montana child support calculator

In Montana, child support is calculated using a formula that is prescribed by statute. Basically, it takes into account two main things. First, the amount that each parent earns. And second, the amount of time that kids spend with each parent. These numbers go into a fairly complicated formula and it spits out the dollar amount that one parent must pay to the other on a monthly basis.

Example of the Montana child support calculator

Let’s say dad makes sixty thousand, mom makes forty thousand, and they still have half and half time with the child. In that case, dad will pay mom child support and the formula will determine exactly what that amount would be. So going back to the example we started out with, if indeed the court agrees that it’s in the best interest of the child for him to have equal overnight stays with both mom and dad, the dad in this case would be the one who has to pay child support since he earns significantly more than the mom, and since they have equal time with the children.


Child support is a very important topic that can have lasting effects on your children and future relationships with their other parent. When it comes to figuring out how much you should pay, or receive from the other person in regards to Montana’s Child Support laws there are many things we need to calculate before making any assumptions about the situation. One mistake could mean paying too much or not enough.


The bottom line: make sure all figures are correct and that all were taken into account beforehand.

Custodial parent’s costs vs. Non-custodial parent’s costs in MT

In Montana, it’s presumed that the caregiving parent covers most costs. Courts assume this is going directly into daily and weekly expenses to raise a child – including food, clothing, living, out of pocket as well school transportation etcetera.


Calculations of child support can change depending on the number of nights the child, or children, stay with the non-custodial parent each year. Non-custodial parents, in which a child stays for a minimum of 20% of overnights per year, can see their outgoing child support payments decrease. This is due to having the child more often and spending funds on various items including food, shelter, and clothing.


Child support payments can be based on both income and the number of overnight stays a parent has during their year. When they’re figuring out how much you owe, it’s important that all circumstances are taken into account – like whether or not there are other children involved in this situation.  This could be your or your ex partners children from another marriage or children you have since had with a new partner.

Montana child support guidelines

Child support in Montana is calculated by taking each of the parents gross income and then subtracting out taxes they pay and getting down to their net income.   You are then looking at how many overnights they take for each child and including any daycare expenses that are paid on behalf of any of the children.  Health insurance premiums for each child are added on top if any are paid on behalf of each child.


When it comes to paying child support in Montana, there are a few things you should be aware of. For example: healthcare costs, health insurance premiums and prescription medicine expenses all increase the amount that parents pay an ex-spouse after they have been divorced or separated from one another for more than three months; these additional amounts will depend on individual income levels.  This means if someone has higher earnings then he/she may also fall under responsibility for providing extra help financially (such as covering any necessary medical treatment). The courts divide who pays what depending upon how much each party earns per week

Can the cost of child support in Montana be lowered?

Parents may seek to have the amount of their child support lowered below what the guidelines suggest. A parent must file a form known as the Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines. Courts may find the lowering of child support to be fair in certain cases. The court may consider other factors in the potential lowering of child support. For example, a child may have an independent source of income.  Courts aim to provide fairness between parents and the amount of money they pay for child support in Montana.


If you would like a Free assessment of your position or any unique circumstances of your Child Support Case, you can fill in our Free Assessment form below for a confidential review of your Child Support matter.

Can parents adjust the amount paid in child support?

Montana courts assume the base situation that the child support amount set by the guidelines is correct. Parents have the right to argue the amount and ask the court to decrease or increase the child support amount resulting from the guidelines.


Parents must show the courts that the child support paid or not paid is unjust and inappropriate. The child’s needs and circumstances of the parent will be taken into consideration when a decision is made. There are common factors that Montana courts rely on when increasing or decreasing the amount of money paid in child support. These factors include:


  • The child’s special needs or disabilities


  • The non-custodial parent’s special needs or disabilities


  • The child or the parent’s education expenses


  • Families with more than six children


  • Long-distance visitation and travel costs


  • Whether the child lives with a third-party parent or person other than a parent


  • Whether the parent pays child support for another child elsewhere


  • Whether the non-custodial parent has regular income


  • Whether the total amount of spousal support, child support, and child care costs leaves the paying parent below the federal poverty level


Montana child support continues until the child turns 18. However, certain circumstances dictate that parents pay child support after the individual turns 18.

Failure to pay child support in Montana.

If you are a parent who has been avoiding paying child support, it may be time for some tough love. Child-support laws in the United States require parents to provide financial assistance for their children’s care and upbringing until they reach 18 years old or leave high school whichever comes last.  


If one person fails to do this then there will eventually be repercussions such as wage garnishment which can lead to bankruptcy ,among other things.  Please don’t take these steps lightly, non-payment of child support is a serious matter.


In an attempt to ensure that parents do not voluntarily become unemployed or underemployed, courts have the power to impute income to that parent. An imputed income is when a judge finds that the amount of income a parent is claiming is not a fair reflection of their income, or what their income should be. A parent can have imputed income based on their recent work history, job qualifications, and the prevailing earnings levels in the community.  


Don’t quit your high paying job thinking you will get out of paying child support.  You won’t, and worse still, you will be told to pay the higher rate even now you have taken a lower paying job.  This is a loophole in Montana child support laws that is watched for by Judges across the State.  It is not legal.  Our advice is not to do this.

Modify child support in Montana

After a court has made an initial ruling on child support, a parent seeking to modify the child support order must prove a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. Changes in circumstances that may influence a modification in child support include a parent getting a higher paying job, a change in the number of days a parent has access to the child, or a medical condition that prevents employment.


In Montana, child support is paid until the child’s 18th birthday. On that day, the child support order is finalized. In some circumstances, however, courts can extend the child support order to cover a child past their 18th birthday. Child support can be extended based on an individual’s mental or physical capacities. In addition, if a child turns 18 but is still attending high school, parents may still be liable for child support payments.


The state of Montana has very strict child support laws that require both custodial and non-custodial parents to be financially responsible for their kids. By making sure these guidelines are fair, it will ensure more accountability in bringing up children while preventing the occurrence or reoccurrence of poverty within a family unit.


If you have moved out of Montana you may need to know the law of your new State.  You can find all you need to know about Child Support in Every US State here.

Montana Child Support Phone Number

The phone number for Montana Child Support is: 1 406-444-6856

Montana Child Support Chat

Child Support Montana Chat Agents are currently: offline

Montana Dept. of Child Support

In Montana, Child Support is managed by Child Support Services which can be found here

Montana Child Support Information

Montana Child Support Statute Laws

Judges in Montana family court make their judgements on child support based on Statue Laws

The full text can be downloaded here

Editor in Chief - Child Support Hub at Child Support Hub LLC | Website | + posts

Mary Newman is a child support expert and the go-to authority on all matters related to child support on the website. With over 20 years of experience, Mary has developed a deep understanding of child support laws, regulations, and procedures, making her an invaluable free resource for parents navigating the complexities of child support. Her extensive experience has given her unique insights into the challenges that parents face when dealing with child support issues, and she is passionate about helping parents understand their rights and obligations. Mary is deeply committed to helping parents understand their options when it comes to child support. Mary's goal is to help parents achieve a fair and equitable child support arrangement that benefits both the children and the parents.