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Montana Child Custody and Support Guidelines

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Montana Child Custody and Support Guidelines:

The court shall determine the parenting plan in accordance with the best interest of the child. The court shall consider all relevant parenting factors, which may include but are not limited to:

  • The wishes of the child's parent or parents.
  • The wishes of the child.
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents and siblings and with any other person who significantly affects the child's best interest.
  • The child's adjustment to home, school, and community.
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
  • Physical abuse or threat of physical abuse by one parent against the other parent or the child.
  • Chemical dependency (as defined in 53-24-103), or chemical abuse on the part of either parent.
  • Continuity and stability of care.
  • Developmental needs of the child;
  • Whether a parent has knowingly failed to pay birth-related costs that the parent is able to pay, which is considered to be not in the child's best interests.
  • Whether a parent has knowingly failed to financially support a child that the parent is able to support, which is considered to be not in the child's best interests.
  • Whether the child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents, which is considered to be in the child's best interests unless the court determines, after a hearing, that contact with a parent would be detrimental to the child's best interests. In making that determination, the court shall consider evidence of physical abuse or threat of physical abuse by one parent against the other parent or the child, including but not limited to whether a parent or other person residing in that parent's household has been convicted of any of the crimes enumerated in 40-4-219(8)(b).
  • Adverse effects on the child resulting from continuous and vexatious parenting plan amendment actions.

[Based on Montana Code - Section 40 - Title: 4-212]

Child Support:

In determining child support, the court shall order either or both parents to pay an amount reasonable or necessary for the child's support, without regard to marital misconduct. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

  • The financial resources of the child.
  • The financial resources of the parents.
  • The standard of living that the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved.
  • The physical and emotional condition of the child and the child's educational and medical needs.
  • The age of the child.
  • The cost of day care for the child.
  • Any parenting plan that is ordered or decided upon.
  • The needs of any person, other than the child, whom either parent is legally obligated to support.

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