Montana Code Annotated 2015

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     41-5-1525. Contribution for costs -- order for contribution -- exceptions -- collection. (1) If a youth is placed in substitute care, a youth assessment center, or detention requiring payment by any state or local government agency or committed to the department, the court shall examine the financial ability of the youth's parents or guardians to pay a contribution covering all or part of the costs for the adjudication, disposition, attorney fees for the costs of prosecuting or defending the youth, costs of detention, supervision, care, custody, and treatment of the youth, including the costs of necessary medical, dental, and other health care.
     (2) If the court determines that a youth's parents or guardians are financially able to pay a contribution for adjudication, disposition, attorney fees for the costs of prosecuting or defending the youth, costs of detention, or supervision as provided in subsection (1), the court shall order the youth's parents or guardians to pay a specified amount. The order must state to which state or local government agency all or a part of the contribution is due and in what order the payments must be made.
     (3) If the court determines that the youth's parents or guardians are financially able to pay a contribution as provided in subsection (1), the court shall order the youth's parents or guardians to pay an amount attributable to care, custody, and treatment based on the uniform child support guidelines adopted by the department of public health and human services pursuant to 40-5-209.
     (4) (a) Except as provided in subsection (4)(b), contributions ordered under subsection (3) and each modification of an existing order are enforceable by immediate or delinquency income withholding, or both, under Title 40, chapter 5, parts 3 and 4. An order for contribution that is inconsistent with this section is nevertheless subject to withholding for the payment of the contribution without need for an amendment of the support order or for any further action by the court.
     (b) A court-ordered exception from contributions under this section must be in writing and must be included in the order. An exception from the immediate income-withholding requirement may be granted if the court finds that there is:
     (i) good cause not to require immediate income withholding; or
     (ii) an alternative arrangement between the department and the person who is ordered to pay contributions.
     (c) A finding of good cause not to require immediate income withholding must, at a minimum, be based upon:
     (i) a written determination and explanation by the court of the reasons why the implementation of immediate income withholding is not in the best interests of the youth; and
     (ii) proof of timely payment of previously ordered support in cases involving modification of contributions ordered under this section.
     (d) An alternative arrangement must:
     (i) provide sufficient security to ensure compliance with the arrangement;
     (ii) be in writing and be signed by a representative of the department and the person required to make contributions; and
     (iii) if approved by the court, be entered into the record of the proceeding.
     (5) Upon a showing of a change in the financial ability of the youth's parents or guardians to pay, the court may modify its order for the payment of contributions required under subsection (3).
     (6) (a) If the court orders the payment of contributions under this section, the department may apply to the department of public health and human services for support enforcement services pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.
     (b) The department of public health and human services may collect and enforce a contribution order under this section by any means available under law, including the remedies provided for in Title 40, chapter 5, parts 2 and 4.

     History: En. Sec. 41, Ch. 550, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 223, L. 2009.

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