Montana Divorce & Finances

The division of joint finances during a divorce can cause some real stress and uncertainty. How does the court make decisions on dividing property?   What are the tax ramifications of getting divorced? Are there estate planning issues between you and your ex-spouse that need to be settled? Will the court award spousal support payments, and if so, what are the parameters of those payments? The following are laws specific to Montana Divorce and Finances.


Montana Property Division/Community Property/Debts:

Montana is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that the court will divide joint marital property on terms considered to be fair, which does not necessarily mean that the division will be equal. In making the determination, the court will consider, among other things, the contributions of each spouse to the marital estate, the total value of the properties of the parties, the economic circumstances of each party, any misconduct that may have occurred, and the amount of spousal support awarded, if any.

Montana Spousal Support:

There is no automatic obligation for either spouse to support the other in the event of a divorce. Where the court does grant spousal support (also called maintenance or alimony), it does so on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of many factors, including:

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking support,
  2. The time and input of resources necessary for the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and sufficient education and/or training for that employment,
  3. The established subjective standard of living during the marriage,
  4. Marriage duration,
  5. Physical and emotional condition of the party seeking maintenance,
  6. The ability of the would-be payor spouse to meet his/her own needs while meeting those of the other spouse, and
  7. Any other factors the court deems relevant

Note that the spousal award amount and duration, once determined, are not set in stone. The court may modify or eliminate the award when circumstances justify doing so, such as the receiving spouse entering into another marriage or similar arrangement, or either party experiencing a material change in financial circumstances.

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