Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 9. Centralized Child Support Registration and Payment

Child Support Information And Processing Unit

40-5-906. Child support information and processing unit. (1) The department shall establish and maintain a centralized child support case registry and payment processing unit. The purpose of this unit is to facilitate mass case processing by utilizing computer technology to identify parents and their income and to initiate automated procedures to collect child support as it becomes due and payable.

(2) The case registry must include a database of information concerning child support orders, all cases receiving IV-D services, and all district court and administrative cases with support orders entered or modified after October 1, 1998.

(3) The case registry must use automated systems to obtain information from federal, state, and local databases with regard to the location of obligors and their income and assets. This information must be shared with the courts of this state and, upon request, may be shared with other IV-D agencies for the purpose of establishing paternity and establishing and enforcing child support obligations.

(4) To assist creditors, credit managers, and others who need timely verification of the existence of child support liens in IV-D cases, the case registry must include a directory of liens, which must include liens against an obligor's real and personal property filed by the department with other agencies and lien registries. Information in the lien registry may be made available through automated systems, which may include voice response units.

(5) Each IV-D case with a child support order must be electronically monitored so that when a timely payment of support is not made, enforcement action may be taken. To accomplish this purpose, payments due under a child support order must be paid to the department for processing and disbursement.

(6) In either a IV-D income-withholding case in this state or a state non IV-D case, if immediate income withholding is authorized after January 1, 1994, an employer or other payor of income shall pay all support withheld from an obligor's income to one centralized location as specified by the department.

(7) To facilitate automated disbursement of support payments, automated enforcement actions, and service of notice when required, an obligor or obligee must be directed to provide, and update as necessary, information sufficient to locate the obligor and obligee and to locate the obligor's income and assets.

[(8) An employer or labor organization shall report a newly hired or rehired employee. Information reported by an employer must be electronically compared to the information database to align an obligor who owes a duty of support with a source of income. When a match is revealed in a IV-D case, a notice must, if appropriate to the case, be promptly transmitted to the employer directing the employer to commence withholding for the payment of the obligor's support obligation.]

(9) The department may enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with any person, business, firm, corporation, or state agency to establish, operate, or maintain the case registry and payment processing unit or any function or service afforded by the unit, provided that:

(a) the department is ultimately responsible for operation of the case registry and payment processing unit, including any function or service afforded by the unit; and

(b) the costs charged to the department under the contract or cooperative agreement do not exceed the actual costs that the department would have incurred without the contract or cooperative agreement.

(10) The department may adopt rules to implement 19-2-909, 19-20-306, 40-5-291, 40-5-1046 through 40-5-1051, and this part. Rules must be drafted, adopted, and applied in a manner that:

(a) minimizes the personal intrusiveness on the employer or employee of any requested information;

(b) minimizes the costs to the department and any employer or employee with respect to obtaining and submitting any requested information; and

(c) maximizes the confidentiality and security of any employer or employee information that the department gathers under 19-2-909, 19-20-306, 40-5-291, 40-5-1046 through 40-5-1051, and this part. (Bracketed language terminates on occurrence of contingency--sec. 1, Ch. 27, L. 1999.)

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 552, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 78, Ch. 114, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 21, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 52, Ch. 130, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 81, L. 2017.