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Child Support Enforcement Division

The mission of the Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is to diligently pursue and ultimately achieve financial and medical support of children by establishing, enforcing, and increasing public awareness of parental obligations.

The division provides federally mandated child support enforcement services. These include:

  • Locating absent parents;
  • Establishing paternity;
  • Establishing financial and medical support orders;
  • Enforcing current and past-due child support;
  • Offering medical and spousal support; and
  • Modifying child support orders.

Administrative decisions of the division can be appealed through judicial review by a district court.

Individuals who receive public assistance under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program are automatically referred to CSED. Support owed to the family is automatically assigned to the state as a condition of TANF. When the child support is collected, it is used to reimburse the state and federal governments for welfare benefits paid to the family.

Individuals who do not receive public assistance may apply for division services. In non-TANF cases, child support collections are forwarded to the custodial party. Other states refer cases to Montana for action when a non-custodial parent lives in Montana.

CSED also collects parental contributions to the state for foster care placements.

In February 2010, CSED implemented the ReliaCard® Visa® prepaid debit card. The CSED will electronically load child support payments into the cardholder’s ReliaCard account whenever payments are received.  The ReliaCard requires no credit approval, bank account or previous banking relationship and is issued free of charge by U.S. Bank directly to the claimant. The card gives claimants quick and easy access to their funds and eliminates waiting for paper checks and check-cashing fees.  Claimants can use their card to make purchases in stores, online, pay bills or get cash back with purchases. 

The division is made up of five bureaus: Budget and Administrative Services, Field Services, Program and Training, Legal Services, and the Office of the Administrative Law Judge (OALJ). Central program administration, the OALJ, and the Interstate Regional Office are located in Helena. Four additional regional offices are located in Butte, Billings, Great Falls, and Missoula.