(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) to pay the current support obligation for the month in which the collection is made if current support has not previously been paid for that month to the obligee. However, if the obligee is a recipient of public assistance including Title IV-E foster care services, collections of current support shall be retained by the CSSD for subsequent allocation according to applicable state and federal statutes and regulations;
(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, 40-5-221, and 53-2-613, MCA, before any funds are distributed to the obligee.
(c) to satisfy fees awarded under 40-5-210, MCA which are owed by the obligor; and
(d) to satisfy fines awarded under 40-5-208 or 40-5-226, MCA which are owed by the obligor.
(2) When the CSSD is collecting support arrears only, amounts shall be distributed to open CSSD cases according to (1)(b) through (1)(d).
(3) After a distribution of support collections to the obligee is determined appropriate but before actual distribution is made, the CSSD may intercept a portion of the collections, as authorized by ARM 37.62.501, to be applied towards recoupment of over-payments previously made to the obligee.
(4) When the CSSD is providing services to two or more obligees of the same obligor:
(a) a distribution of current support under (1)(a) which is less than the amount of current support due to all the obligees shall be prorated among the obligees based on the amount of current support due to each obligee;
(b) a collection of support arrears owed under (1)(b) shall be distributed equally among the obligor's cases, provided however, that the amount distributed shall not exceed the arrears owed; and
(c) until current support and arrears owed by an obligor under a support order are satisfied, there shall be no distribution made to an obligee in a case where there is no support order.
(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of (4) above:
(a) if a particular support collection is made through an order to withhold income, any amount distributed from that collection must be distributed only to the obligor's cases that currently have an order to withhold income in place;
(b) a support payment by personal check, money order or like form of payment which is made payable only to a particular obligee, will be distributed only to that obligee's case;
(c) a support collection resulting from a writ of execution or similar case-specific remedy must be distributed to the specific obligee's case;
(d) a support payment received by an obligee directly from the obligor and turned over to the CSSD for distribution under this section will not be distributed to any other obligee's case; and
(e) support collections made through a clerk of court or other public or private child support enforcement authority, who forwards the collection to the CSSD, shall be distributed only to the obligor's case designated by the clerk of court or other authority. If the forwarded collection fails to include a designated specific case, the distribution provisions of (4) will apply.
(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 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) Except as provided in (9) below, the CSSD shall not distribute collections or any part of collections towards future support, even though the obligor may so direct, until all appropriate distributions under (1) and, if appropriate, (4) are made first.
(8) In the absence of a support order, voluntary payments of support made by an obligor shall be distributed as follows:
(a) Whenever there is a written or oral agreement and the agreement specifies a support amount and the frequency of payment, payments shall be distributed as provided in (1); or
(b) If there is no agreement, the total amount received in a given month will be counted as that month's current support obligation.
(9) For purposes of determining distribution under this rule, the effective date of a support collection shall be known as the date of collection.
(a) For collections made under an order to withhold income, the date of collection is the day the CSSD receives the payment. However, if the support is withheld by the payor in a month when the payment is due, but the payment is received by the CSSD in a month other than the month when due, the date of withholding is the date specifically reported by the payor in documentation accompanying the payment;
(b) Except as provided in (9)(c), when a collection is received in the mail directly from the obligor, the date of collection is the date that the CSSD receives the payment;
(c) If a collection is received in the form of a post-dated check, the date of collection shall be the date of the check;
(d) In all other cases, the date of collection shall be the day the CSSD receives the collection;
(10) Under this rule, collections characteristic of past due support may be distributed the same as collections identified as current support. However, for purposes other than distribution, these collections will be accounted for as past due support.
(11) For the purposes of determining statutes of limitations, arrears, interest on arrears, collection remedies and similar uses, all support collections, without regard to date of distribution, will be applied to satisfy the oldest unpaid installment of support due under the support order.