Montana Child Support Guidelines

Although Montana law establishes that there should be child support calculations, it doesn’t actually describe how the calculation will work. Instead, it delegates that responsibility to the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS). The department created the formula that we refer to as a child support calculation and maintains the forms which Courts rely on in reviewing the calculations. It is this calculation and those forms that we provide to you through our site. Unlike other web sites out there promising Montana child support calculations, actually uses the DPHHS guidelines and forms creating a calculation in line with what Courts and other governmental agencies expect out of a child support calculation.

The amount determined by a child support calculation is presumptively correct. Courts can deviate from it, but they need to have a good reason for doing it. But, like any calculation – the result is only as good as the variables you feed in to it. Whether you use the forms provided by DPHHS and do the hard math yourself, or use our program, the end result is only going to be as accurate as the numbers you start with. The guidelines ask for a huge amount of data focusing primarily on income and child related expenses of both parents. Information about the kids, with whom they spend their time, and some other information is also collected. Just like everything else, separated parents are known to fight about what numbers are correct to use. That’s why the more sure you can be of the numbers you start with, the more likely your final calculation is to hold up.

The guidelines are a powerful tool and required for any divorce, child custody, or child support modification action in Montana. For years, lawyers have had access to a program they used to determine these figures quickly and easily for clients. Our site offers that same ability to the public for the first time. With constant updates, you can be sure that your calculation reflects the latest guidelines from DPHHS – so whether you’re just considering taking action or are already involved in a case, sign up now to get the information you need.

2 Responses to “Montana Child Support Guidelines”

  1. Jennifer September 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    This might be a stupid question, but what’s the difference between the child support guidelines and a child support calculation. I’ve been trying to use the form I found on the website, but I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing. Does this make a calculation or a guideline?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Paul Sullivan October 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      They’re really two different ways to refer to the same thing. The guidelines are the rules that tell us how to do a child support calculation. It sounds like the form you are using is a child support calculation. Our program uses the guidelines in order to create the calculation just like that form does.

      The advantage to using our program is the ability to quickly and easily create multiple calculations so you can see how different scenarios play out. And we use computers to do the math – so if you’re like me that reassurance is a good thing.

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