(1) These guidelines are promulgated under the authority of 40-5-209 , MCA, for the purpose of establishing a standard to be used by the district courts, child support enforcement agencies, attorneys and parents in determining child support obligations.
(2) These guidelines are based on the principle that it is the first priority of parents to meet the needs of the child according to the financial ability of the parents. In a dissolution of marriage or when parents have never been married, a child's standard of living should not, to the degree possible, be adversely affected because a child's parents are not living in the same household.
(3) These guidelines are structured to determine child support on an annual basis. Payment will be made in equal monthly installments.
(4) As required by 40-4-204 , 40-5-226 and 40-6-116 , MCA, these guidelines apply to contested, non-contested and default proceedings to establish or modify support orders.