MONTANA DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: One of the parties must be a resident of Montana for 90 days immediately prior to filing.
Grounds: No fault: Serious marital discord that affects the attitude of one or both parties toward the married, supported by evidence that the parties have lived separate and apart for 180 days.
Property Division: Montana is an equitable distribution “hotchpot” state. This means the court can divide any and all property owned by the parties, however and whenever acquired, in an “equitable” manner, i.e., fairly, as the circumstances dictate. The court may consider:
- The length of the marriage
- The age, health, station, occupation of the parties
- The amount and sources of income
- The contributions of a spouse as a homemaker or to the family unit
- Vocational skills
- Assets and liabilities
- The needs of each party
- The opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets and income
- The contribution of each party to the marital and separate estates
(click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: Either spouse may be awarded maintenance if that spouse can show an inability to support himself or herself and there is a lack of sufficient property to provide for his or her own needs; or that the spouse seeking support is the custodian of the parties’ minor child(ren) and it would be appropriate for the custodian not to seek outside employment. The award is made without regard to marital fault.
Child custody and support: As in every state, child custody is based on “the best interests of the child.” In Montana many factors are considered, including the following:
- The wishes of the parent or parents
- The wishes of the child
- The relationship of the child with the parents, siblings, and any other person who significantly affects the child
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved
- he developmental needs of the child;
- Any physical abuse or threat of physical abuse by one parent against the other or the child;
- Chemical dependency or chemical abuse on the part of either parent;
Montana child-support guidelines use a complicated formula of net income, the time the child spends with each parent, as well as other expenses, and sets aside a “self-reserve” for each parent.
To help you figure child support in your case, you can get the forms at: http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/csed/packet/guidelines.shtml
(click the following for an expert's overview and list of articles on child custody and child support).
Disclaimer: The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.