Montana Alimony and Spousal Support Laws
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Montana law allows for spousal support or alimony when it is needed due to one spouse’s circumstances. The court will hear all evidence at the divorce proceedings and decide what is appropriate in each case. Fault is not a consideration under Montana law.
Types of Spousal Support
- Temporary – may be awarded during the proceedings, prior to final decree.
- Short-Term – may be awarded for a limited duration to allow one party to gain employability.
- Long-Term or Permanent – may be awarded, especially in cases of lengthy marriage, at the court’s discretion.
Who is Eligible for Alimony in Montana
Either party to a divorce may seek and be granted alimony. The duration and amount of any award will be determined by the court based on the factors below. Montana courts may grant alimony for either spouse if it finds that the spouse seeking alimony:
- Lacks sufficient property to provide for basic needs; and
- Is unable to be self-supporting.
Montana Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)
The court will look at the following factors to determine alimony in a given case:
- Financial resources of the party seeking alimony;
- Time needed to acquire skills or education for the party seeking alimony;
- Standard of living as established during marriage;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Age and condition of the parties; and
- Any other information the court determines important to the case.
Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Montana
Most maintenance is granted for a specific duration. It can be modified upon a showing of changed circumstances. Changed circumstances may include remarriage by the receiving spouse or cohabitation. The party seeking modification must petition the court and offer proof of the changed circumstances.
Marital Fault in Montana
Montana is a no fault divorce state. The court may not consider fault in determining whether to grant alimony.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Montana?
Support is generally granted for a specific amount of time. The length of time depends on factors such as the parties’ needs, duration of the marriage, and whether dependent children require one spouse to stay at home.
Montana Alimony Taxes
Federal law generally requires that the spouse who receives alimony declare it as income for tax purposes. The spouse who pays alimony may declare it as a deduction for tax purposes. Discuss the implications of your alimony agreement with a professional to find out the best way to structure your payments.
Find an Alimony Attorney in Montana
An experienced Montana family law attorney can help you navigate the divorce paperwork and your settlement arrangement. An attorney will advocate on your behalf and make the process easier.