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Montana Paternity Law

This page about Montana paternity laws is provided as general information only. Journey Genetic Testing does not provide legal advice or representation. We encourage you to research your state laws for the most current information, or contact a family law attorney.

Montana Paternity Law: Chapter 40

40-6-105. Presumption of paternity.

(1) A person is presumed to be the natural father of a child if any of the following occur:

(a) the person and the child’s natural mother are or have been married to each other and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce or after a decree of separation is entered by a court;

(b) before the child’s birth, the person and the child’s natural mother have attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and:

(i) if the attempted marriage could be declared invalid only by a court, the child is born during the attempted marriage or within 300 days after its termination by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce; or

(ii) if the attempted marriage is invalid without a court order, the child is born within 300 days after the termination of cohabitation;

(c) after the child’s birth, the person and the child’s natural mother have married or attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and:

(i) the child’s mother and the child’s alleged father have acknowledged the alleged father’s paternity of the child in writing in accordance with subsection (1)(e) and the acknowledgment is filed with the department of public health and human services;

(ii) with the person’s consent, the person is named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate; or

(iii) the person is obligated to support the child under a written voluntary promise or by court order;

(d) while the child is under the age of majority, the person receives the child into the person’s home and openly represents the child to be the person’s natural child;

(e) the child’s mother and the child’s alleged father acknowledge the alleged father’s paternity of the child in a paternity acknowledgment form that is provided by the department of public health and human services. The department of public health and human services shall accept and file the completed form. As a part of a voluntary acknowledgment process, the department of public health and human services shall make written and oral information available to the parents regarding the rights and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity. If another person is presumed under this section to be the child’s father, acknowledgment may be effected only with the written consent of the presumed father or after the presumption has been rebutted. The presumption of paternity is created when the acknowledgment is filed with the department.

(f) the scientific evidence resulting from a blood test, whether ordered by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction or agreed to by the parties, shows a 95% or higher statistical probability of paternity;

(g) the person is presumed to be the child’s natural father under the laws of the state or Indian territory in which the child was born.

(2) An acknowledgment is binding on a parent who executes it, whether or not the parent is a minor.

(3) Except for presumptions of paternity that are conclusive or irrebuttable under subsections (1)(g) and (5), a presumption under this section may be rebutted:

(a) in an appropriate action by a preponderance of the evidence; or

(b) by scientific evidence resulting from a blood test that excludes the person as the child’s natural parent.

(4) (a) A presumption of paternity established under this section is a sufficient basis for establishing a support order.

(b) If a presumption is later rebutted or set aside and the person is under an order to pay support for the child, the person may only be relieved of support installments that accrued from the date of the order declaring the presumption to be rebutted.

(5) (a) An acknowledgment of paternity under subsection (1)(e) may be rescinded by a signatory at any time within 60 days after it was signed by filing a notice of withdrawal with the department of public health and human services. The notice of withdrawal must include an affidavit attesting that a copy of the notice was provided to any parent who signed the acknowledgment form.

(b) Without need for ratification by court or administrative proceedings, an acknowledgment of paternity under subsection (1)(e) becomes, as a matter of law, an irrebuttable presumption of paternity on the earlier of the date:

(i) the acknowledgment is not timely rescinded as provided in subsection (5)(a); or

(ii) a court or administrative judgment, decree, or order is entered that establishes paternity or a support order, when that proceeding includes the signatory.

(c) An irrebuttable presumption of paternity under this subsection (5) has the same force and effect as a district court judgment adjudicating paternity and may only be set aside for fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact. The burden of proof is on the person seeking to set the presumption aside. Except for good cause, legal responsibilities arising from the paternity acknowledgment may not be stayed pending the outcome of an action to set aside the presumption.

History: En. 61-305 by Sec. 5, Ch. 512, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 61-305; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 70, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 80, Ch. 418, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 143, Ch. 546, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 86, Ch. 552, L. 1997.

Required Probability of Paternity for Montana Courts: 95%
Required Paternity Index: None

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