Montana Administrative Register Notice 37-995 No. 15   08/05/2022    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 37.62.106 and 37.62.307 pertaining to Child Support Services Division guidelines and distribution







TO: All Concerned Persons


            1. On August 25, 2022, at 2:00 p.m., the Department of Public Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing via remote conferencing to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules. Interested parties may access the remote conferencing platform in the following ways:

            (a) Join Zoom Meeting at: https://mt-gov.zoom.us/j/82037599075?pwd=RUV2UlNRbGFFa2JMa3ZkaXFNekFWQT09

Meeting ID: 820 3759 9075, Password: 602592; or

            (b) Dial by telephone: +1 646 558 8656, Meeting ID: 820 3759 9075, Password: 602592.

Find your local number: https://mt-gov.zoom.us/u/k3YXD4sal.


2. The Department of Public Health and Human Services will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the Department of Public Health and Human Services no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 11, 2022, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Kassie Thompson, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; telephone (406) 444-4094; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail dphhslegal@mt.gov.


3. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


37.62.106 IMPUTED INCOME FOR CHILD SUPPORT (1) and (2) remain the same.

           (3) In all cases where imputed income is appropriate, the amount is based on the following:

(a) the parent's residence and recent work and earnings history;

(b) through (5) remain the same.


AUTH: 40-5-203, MCA

IMP: 40-5-209, MCA


            37.62.307 DISTRIBUTION OF COLLECTIONS (1) Except as provided in (2) and (6), collections of support from all sources, including but not limited to the proceeds from writs of execution, support liens, state tax offsets, and lump sum settlements, will be distributed, to the extent the collection is sufficient, in the following sequence:

            (a) remains the same.

            (b) to satisfy any arrears owed to the obligee, except when the obligee is a recipient of public assistance, including IV-E foster care services. When the obligee is a public assistance recipient, or if no arrears are owed to the obligee, collections in excess of current support shall first be applied to arrears owed to the state of Montana under 40-5-202, 50-5-221 40-5-221, and 53-2-613, MCA, before any funds are distributed to the obligee.

            (c) through (5) remain the same.

            (6) Support collections resulting from federal tax offsets will be distributed only to those arrears certified to the tax authorities as past due.  These collections shall be distributed, to the extent they are sufficient, first to satisfy any arrears owing to the state of Montana under 40-5-202, 40-5-221, and 53-2-613, MCA. If there is no past due support owed to the state of Montana, or if to the extent the collection exceeds the amount owed to the state of Montana, the collection shall be distributed to arrears owed to the obligee. If arrears are owed in more than one case, the collection shall be distributed equally among the obligor's cases, provided that the amount distributed shall not exceed the arrears owed.

            (7) through (11) remain the same.


AUTH: 40-5-202, MCA

IMP: 17-4-105, 40-5-202, MCA




The proposed amendments are explained below, with reference to the specific subsections of ARM 37.62.106 and 37.62.307.


ARM 37.62.106(3)(a)


The department proposes to require tribunals to consider a parent's residence when imputing income for child support to more fully align with 42 CFR 302.56(c)(1)(iii). This amendment was requested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). Federal regulations require states to consider residence for calculation of support obligations. This affects the amount of income which may be imputed. The value of a residence may also indicate that a parent's earning capacity or actual earnings does not match with their stated income. The change is necessary to align with OCSE requirements and federal rules.


ARM 37.62.307(1)(b) and (6)


The department proposes to amend the rule to include a correct citation to the Montana Code Annotated. This rule currently cites an incorrect statute which has been repealed. The citation should be 40-5-221, MCA, instead of 50-5-221, MCA. The change is necessary to provide accurate legal authority for the existing rule.


Section (6) includes an insertion of the phrase "to the extent," for purposes of clarity, as well as a minor grammatical change from "obligor" to "obligor's."


Fiscal Impact


No fiscal impact is expected from these changes.


5. These amendments will be effective upon the day after the date of publication of the adoption notice.


            6. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Kassie Thompson, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail dphhslegal@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., September 2, 2022.


7. The Office of Legal Affairs, Department of Public Health and Human Services, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.


8. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency.  Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 6 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


9. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


10. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rules will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.



/s/ CHAD G. PARKER                                /s/ CHARLES T. BRERETON                                        

Chad G. Parker                                          Charles T. Brereton, Director

Rule Reviewer                                            Department of Public Health and Human Services



Certified to the Secretary of State July 26, 2022.


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