In Montana, custody is classified by legal, physical, sole, or joint custody. It is common for parents to share custody, where they contribute to making decisions about school, religion, and medical care and only one primary parent has the final say in big decisions. Montana no longer uses the terms “custody” or “visitation” instead using “parenting plan” to determine where the child lives, how often and when the child spends time with the other parent, and where the child spends holidays and summers.
In Montana, both parents submit a parenting plan to the court, which explains their proposal for the custody arrangement. The court then determines what is in the best interest of the child before making the final plan. The best interest of the child is determined by including the child’s wishes, the parent’s wishes, the mental and physical health of all involved, and the needs of the child being met.