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Missoula Montana Family Law Blog

What formula do Montana judges use to determine child support?

If you're a parent, then you're likely aware that every mom or dad in Montana must provide for the basic needs of their son or daughter. All parents must do this up unless they've lawfully relinquished their parental rights. The child support system ensures that parents do just that. There are several factors that Missoula judges take into account when deciding how much a mom or dad should pay in child support.

Administrative Rules of Montana Title 37, Chapter 62, Subchapter 1 spells out how the court determines how much disposable income a parent has to make child support payments. Judges generally take into account either a mom or dad's actual and imputed income when trying to figure out how much support that they owe.

Can you refuse visitation if child support goes unpaid?

Child support payments are mandated by court order, and thus they are the legal responsibility of the party ordered to pay. They are not based on either parent's desires or the interactions the two have with each other. These are debts that must be paid to give the child the best possible life.

Unfortunately, parents do not always pay their support on a timely basis — or at all. This is perhaps especially true in cases where the mother and father are no longer on good terms. This building resentment may make the person who was ordered to pay decide that they'd rather not do so.

Creating a functional parenting plan

In the vast majority of cases, a child will thrive when both of their parents work together in their best interests. If you are separated from the other parent of your child, it is, therefore, important that you can put your differences aside for the benefit of your child.

To ensure some level of continuity in your child's life, you should consider creating a parenting plan. This plan can function as both a schedule and an agreement between both parents. It helps keep the logistical aspects of parenting running smoothly, while at the same time ensuring that the child is experiencing consistency and dependability from both of their parents. The following are some tips for creating a functional parenting plan.

Alimony and taxes: What do you need to know?

If your divorce was final last year or is still in process, your attorney likely has told you about the tax changes regarding alimony that were implemented with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed by Congress and signed by President Trump.

There was some confusion around them -- in part because, unlike most of the changes included in the TCJA that were effective in tax year 2018, the changes to alimony (and separation payments) didn't go in to effect until tax year 2019. Another source of confusion is that the changes aren't retroactive. They won't impact most people who divorced prior to Jan. 1, 2019.

Understanding child support by agreement

Noncustodial parents who earn an income tend to have the obligation to pay some amount of child support to the custodial parent if they request it. Most of the time, the amount of child support that is owed can be calculated through a formula that is based on the noncustodial parent's income.

The thinking behind child support is that all children deserve to be financially supported by both parents so that their quality of life can be maximized. If you have a good relationship with the other parent of your child, you may choose to negotiate child support so that the fairest possible scenario can be brought about.

Tips for getting along with your ex after divorce

If you and your spouse have recently parted ways, it may be difficult for you to contemplate ever having a civil relationship again. Right now, you may feel that it is impossible to even have a normal conversation with your ex without it turning into a fight. While some people don't feel the need to speak to their ex going forward, others see it as necessary for getting through the divorce proceedings and for co-parenting their children in years to come.

If you want to make an effort to have a good relationship with your ex during and after your divorce, the following are some tips for achieving this.

Key facts about Montana child custody laws

Child custody law tends to be very similar across states. In addition to this, most states in the U.S. have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which aids states in cooperation when it comes to multistate custody cases.

However, states can differ slightly when it comes to the way that they assess and evaluate child custody cases. This is why it is important to observe state law. If you are going through a child custody battle in Montana, you should observe the following facts.

Tips for effectively modifying child support

Child support is put in place with good intentions: It is meant to provide financial support for children whose parents are not together. It makes all biological parents financially responsible for their children, regardless of whether they have chosen to have a relationship with them or not. However, those who have been ordered to pay child support often find that it is a heavy financial burden that makes it difficult for them to live a normal life.

Parents with child support orders in place are ordered to pay a sum that is based on their income at the time. Therefore, there is no reason why a parent would not be able to afford their child support order unless their financial situation has changed significantly since the order was made. To modify your child support obligations, you should be able to show that a change in circumstances has taken place.

Understanding asset division laws in Montana

One of the most complex processes in a divorce proceeding is the asset division process. Splitting marital assets tends to be particularly complex between high asset spouses, spouses who are struggling to maintain a collaborative relationship, and spouses who have been married for many years.

State laws have a huge impact on how marital assets are divided at divorce. This is why it is so important to understand the specific laws in place in the state that you intend to divorce in.

What you need to know about divorce in Montana

State law dictates many things about the divorce process. This means that getting a divorce in Montana is likely to be subject to slightly different laws than getting in a divorce in Texas or California, for example.

Therefore, you should make sure that you have a good understanding of the laws in the state that you are divorcing in. The following are some of the key things that you should know if you are filing for a divorce in Montana.

Cunningham Law Office is a family law-focused firm in Missoula, Montana. We serve Missoula, Ravalli County, and the surrounding area.