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Montana Child Custody Laws

Family law matters generally fall under state jurisdiction, including custody. Most U.S. states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which fosters legal cooperation with respect to multi-state custody cases. In Montana, child custody and visitation is called the "parenting plan." The state laws use the term "parenting" to promote the idea that both parents should be involved in the children's lives. A family law judge will decide the terms of a parenting agreement unless both parents can agree on a custody plan, then the court will generally approve a written agreement.

This article provides a brief overview of child custody laws in the state of Montana.

Montana Child Custody Laws: At a Glance

Learn more about Montana child custody laws in the following table, with links to additional sources. See FindLaw's Child Custody section for additional articles and more state-specific information.

Code Section

§ 40-4-211 et seq. of the Montana Code Annotated

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted

1999

Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, § 40-4-212 "parenting plan"

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, § 40-4-228

Child's Own Wishes Considered?

Yes

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Montana Child Custody Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Help with Child Custody Laws

If you and your child's other parent are separating, you might not agree on what you think the child custody arrangement should look like. There are many factors to consider in these determinations, but the court's primary concern will be the child's own best interest. One of the best ways to get a handle on the process is to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Custody & child visitation cases are emotional, and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Lawyers can seek to secure visitation rights

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