About Divorce in Montana. 


Montana is a no-fault and equitable distribution state.  Equitable means “fair” not necessarily “equal.”  No-fault means the Court doesn’t divide the marital estate based upon who is “at fault” in causing the marriage to break up.  By Montana statute, there are a number of financial, health and other factors that the Court must consider in dividing a marital estate.  The Montana Supreme Court has also outlined special guidelines concerning the division of inherited, gifted and pre-marital property.  If your divorce involves such property, you will want to consult with us early on in your case to protect your rights.  Parenting of children in Montana is based upon a “best interest of the child” standard and is governed by a number of statutory factors.  Our local courts have standard visitation schedules which provide some guidance about how they view a typical case.  Child support is subject to the Montana Child Support Guidelines, which (particularly if you are self-employed) is a surprisingly complicated set of guidelines that can produce different results depending upon the expertise of the person preparing the calculation.  Many divorce cases in Montana are resolved short of trial through formal or informal settlement negotiations.  Indeed, a settlement conference is mandatory in Ravalli and Missoula counties before you can go to trial.  Because any good settlement is based upon an assessment of what could happen if your case went to trial, it is in your best interest to have a lawyer who has tried divorce cases in front of our local judges to assist you when making decisions about settlement. 

Lake Como

by:  Alan B. Applebury



716 South First Street, Hamilton, Montana 59840

Telephone: (406) 363-3090