Paternity means fatherhood.  Paternity may be presumed by law or determined by a court if it is disputed.  In addition to parents’ rights to know their child and contribute to their lives, establishing paternity is important to children for matters such as financial support, benefits, identity and medical history.

Montana law outlines the circumstances in which paternity is presumed, for example, when the child’s mother is married and the husband is presumed to be the father.  Genetic testing may also serve as the basis for a presumption of paternity.

Paternity may be acknowledged after a child is born.  In situations where the identity of the father is not certain, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) can help to determine paternity.

For more information on Paternity and Parenting issues, please refer to the handbook provided by CSED, Paternity Information for Parents, and visit our pages on the topics of Child Custody and Child Support.

MCA Title 40, Ch. 6, Part 1. Uniform Parentage Act

MCA Title 40, Ch. 5, Part 2, §§ 231-237 (Re: Establishment of Paternity Determinations by CSED)

MCA Title 50, Ch. 15. Part 2. Birth (Including sections on Paternity Acknowledgment and Birth Certificates)

Paternity Information for Parents, Handbook (11 pages) from Montana DPHHS, CSED

Paternity Establishment Instructions for Unmarried Parents, from Montana DPHHS, CSED

Families and Kids, from

Office of Child Support Enforcement, website under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families