Enforcement of Support Orders

Children have the right to receive financial and emotional support from both parents, even if the parents don't live together or were never married. The Montana Child Support Services Division (CSSD) strives to make it possible for parents to give their children everything that they need to thrive. 

Working to Ensure Child Support Gets Paid

Most child support in Montana is collected via income withholding from a parent's wages. When income withholding is not available the CSSD does have other tools it can use to enforce child support and medical support orders. The following is a sample of standard enforcement actions used by the CSSD to collect child support. 

  • income withholding
  • reporting the names of parents who owe a certain amount of child support to credit reporting agencies. 
  • collecting federal or state tax refunds and other types of federal or state payments to pay past-due child support.
    • The CSSD places a six month hold on federal tax payments received on behalf of a parent who filed a joint tax return. This is due to increases in reversals of previously paid tax refund payments.
  • placing a lien against property owned by the parent if that property is in Montana, and placing liens against vehicles. 
  • suspending driver's, occupational, and recreational licenses.
  • suspending a U.S. passport.
  • garnishment of: lottery winnings, insurance settlements or inheritance, bank accounts and other sources of funds that may be used to pay child support. 

Provisions for Medical Support

  • Montana law requires that every child support order include a provision for medical support. If a parent can provide healthcare coverage at a reasonable cost through an employer, the parent may be ordered to do so. 

 Helping Parents Support Their Children

We strive to work closely with parents to help them to take responsibility for the well-being of their children by fulfilling their support obligations.