Louisiana Paternity Law


Paternity – General – Louisiana

LOUISIANA CIVIL CODE BOOK I. OF PERSONS TITLE VII. PARENT AND CHILD CHAPTER 2. PROOF OF PATERNITY (Current through 1/7/09) Art. 185. Presumption of paternity of husband The husband of the mother is presumed to be the father of a child born during the marriage or within three hundred days from the date of the termination of the marriage. Art. 186. Presumption if child is born after divorce or after death of husband; effect of disavowal If a child is born within three hundred days from the day of the termination of a marriage and his mother has married again before his birth, the first husband is presumed to be the father. If the first husband, or his successor, obtains a judgment of disavowal of paternity of the child, the second husband is presumed to be the father. The second husband, or his successor, may disavow paternity if he institutes a disavowal action within a peremptive period of one year from the day that the judgment of disavowal obtained by the first husband is final and definitive. Art. 187. Disavowal action; proof The husband may disavow paternity of the child by clear and convincingevidence that he is not the father. The testimony of the husband shall be corroborated by other evidence. Art. 188. Disavowal precluded in case of assisted conception The husband of the mother may not disavow a child born to his wife as a result of an assisted conception to which he consented. Art. 189. Time limit for disavowal by the husband The action for disavowal of paternity is subject to a liberative prescription of one year. This prescription commences to run from the day the husband learns or should have learned of the birth of the child. Nevertheless, if the husband lived separate and apart from the mother continuously during the three hundred days immediately preceding the birth of the child, this prescription does not commence to run until the husband is notified in writing that a party in interest has asserted that the husband is the father of the child. Art. 190. Time limit for disavowal by heir or legatee If the prescription has commenced to run and the husband dies before the prescription has accrued, his successor whose interest is adversely affected may institute an action for disavowal of paternity. The action of the successor is subject to a liberative prescription of one year. This prescription commences to run from the day of the death of the husband. If the prescription has not yet commenced to run, the action of the successor is subject to a liberative prescription of one year. This prescription commences to run from the day the successor is notified in writing that a party in interest has asserted that the husband is the father of the child. Art. 191. Contestation and establishment of paternity by mother The mother of a child may institute an action to establish both that her former husband is not the father of the child and that her present husband is the father. This action may be instituted only if the present husband has acknowledged the child by authentic act or by signing the birth certificate. Art. 192. Contestation action; proof The mother shall prove by clear and convincing evidence both that her former husband is not the father and that her present husband is the father. The testimony of the mother shall be corroborated by other evidence. Art. 193. Contestation and establishment of paternity; time period The action by the mother shall be instituted within a peremptive period of one hundred eighty days from the marriage to her present husband and also within two years from the day of the birth of the child, except as may otherwise be provided by law. Art. 194. Judgment in contestation action A judgment shall not be rendered decreeing that the former husband is not the father of the child unless the judgment also decrees that the present husband is the father of the child. Art. 195. Presumption by marriage and acknowledgment; child not filiated to another man; proof; time period A man who marries the mother of a child not filiated to another man and who, with the concurrence of the mother, acknowledges the child by authentic act or by signing the birth certificate is presumed to be the father of that child. The husband may disavow paternity of the child as provided in Article 187. The action for disavowal is subject to a peremptive period of one hundred eighty days. This peremptive period commences to run from the day of the marriage or the acknowledgment, whichever occurs later. Art. 196. Formal acknowledgment; presumption A man may, by authentic Act or by signing the birth certificate, acknowledge a child not filiated to another man. The acknowledgment creates a presumption that the man who acknowledges the child is the father. The presumption can be invoked only on behalf of the child. Except as otherwise provided in custody, visitation, and child support cases, the acknowledgment does not create a presumption in favor of the man who acknowledges the child. Art. 197. Child’s action to establish paternity; proof; time period A child may institute an action to prove paternity even though he is presumed to be the child of another man. If the action is instituted after the death of the alleged father, a child shall prove paternity by clear and convincing evidence. For purposes of succession only, this action is subject to a peremptive period of one year. This peremptive period commences to run from the day of the death of the alleged father. Art. 198. Father’s action to establish paternity; time period A man may institute an action to establish his paternity of a child at any time except as provided in this Article. The action is strictly personal. If the child is presumed to be the child of another man, the action shall be instituted within one year from the day of the birth of the child. Nevertheless, if the mother in bad faith deceived the father of the child regarding his paternity, the action shall be instituted within one year from the day the father knew or should have known of his paternity, or within ten years from the day of the birth of the child, whichever first occurs. In all cases, the action shall be instituted no later than one year from the day of the death of the child. The time periods in this Article are peremptive.