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Cunningham Law Office
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child support Archives

How can you effectively plan for and use child support payments?

You know that as your divorce gets closer to finalizing in Montana, you and your ex will need to negotiate the custody and care of your children. This process is critical to creating an arrangement that benefits your children and allows them to continue a relationship with both of their parents. It also allows you to have adequate financial means to provide for the necessities of your children.

Back child support and tax refunds

If you are like some parents, you look forward to receiving a tax refund from the IRS. Whether you regularly use your tax refunds to get caught up on bills, clear debt or purchase things that you have had your eyes on for a long time, there are many reasons why people count on their tax refunds. Unfortunately, some parents have had their tax refunds intercepted because they fell behind on child support due to losing their job or going through financial hardships for some other reason. If this is something you are currently struggling with, you should be aware of the potential repercussions that may lie ahead.

How child support is determined and what it covers

The purpose of child support is to ensure that the child of divorcing parents maintains the same standard of living after the divorce that he or she enjoyed prior to it. Therefore, Montana courts take a number of factors into consideration when determining the amount of child support owed, including the child's age, educational and medical needs, physical/emotional condition and the financial resources of each parent, as well as those of the child. If the child requires day care, the court will also consider that cost, and if either parent is legally obligated to support any person other than the child, the court will take into account that person's needs as well.

Determining which parent pays child support

The court system in Montana has significant latitude in establishing child support orders. State guidelines use a consistent standard throughout the various departments and related agencies. According to Montana Child Support Guidelines, each case is determined based on the circumstances and individual needs of the child. The goal is to ensure the marriage dissolution does not adversely affect the child’s standard of living.

Does my ex have any say in how I spend child support?

During your divorce, you and your ex followed Montana's guidelines for determining child support, and the judge's ruling set it in stone. Your child's other parent has no quarrel with the amount, but does want to know exactly how you're spending that money. Do you have to provide a breakdown?

Back child support and travel plans

With respect to child support, there are many different challenges parents encounter. For example, a parent may worry about being arrested for failing to pay child support after losing their job or struggle with the costs associated with raising a child because they are not receiving what they are owed. It is very important for parents to resolve these situations, and those who are unable to pay child support should be aware of the repercussions associated with falling behind. Moreover, you may want to explore the modification of your child support order if you are going through this.

Bracing yourself for child support payments

Parents work through a wide variety of challenges on a regular basis, whether these difficulties involve their child's school (transportation, grades, etc.) or some other facet of raising children. However, when a couple splits up, it can be particularly hard for them to move forward, especially if they have kids. For some, child support payments and the financial consequences of divorce can become a major issue.

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