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Arkansas State Paternity Laws

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 4:07 PM
Monday, July 27, 2009


The below information is a general guide to Arkansas State Paternity Laws. Please conduct further research on your state laws for current or updated information or contact a family attorney for professional legal advice. For information on state collection locations, click here.

Required Probability of Paternity for Arkansas Courts: 95%

Required Paternity Index: None at this time

Current Arkansas Paternity Law: Section 28-9-209

Legitimacy of child — Effect.

(a)(1)If the parents of a child have lived together as man and wife and, before the birth of their child, have participated in a marriage ceremony in apparent compliance with the law of the state where the marriage ceremony was performed, though the attempted marriage is void, their child is deemed to be the legitimate child of both parents for all purposes of intestate succession.

(2)A child born or conceived during a marriage is presumed to be the legitimate child of both spouses for the same purposes.

(b)If a man has a child or children by a woman, and afterward intermarries with her and recognizes the child or children to be his, the child or children shall be deemed and considered legitimate.

(c)Any child conceived following artificial insemination of a married woman with the consent of her husband shall be treated as their child for all purposes of intestate succession. Consent of the husband is presumed unless the contrary is shown by clear and convincing evidence.

(d)An illegitimate child or his or her descendants may inherit real or personal property in the same manner as a legitimate child from the child’s mother or her blood kindred. The child may inherit real or personal property from his or her father or from his or her father’s blood kindred, provided that at least one (1) of the following conditions is satisfied and an action is commenced or claim asserted against the estate of the father in a court of competent jurisdiction within one hundred eighty (180) days of the death of the father:

(1)A court of competent jurisdiction has established the paternity of the child or has determined the legitimacy of the child pursuant to subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section;

(2)The man has made a written acknowledgment that he is the father of the child;

(3)The man’s name appears with his written consent on the birth certificate as the father of the child;

(4)The mother and father intermarry prior to the birth of the child;

(5)The mother and putative father attempted to marry each other prior to the birth of the child by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid; or

(6)The putative father is obligated to support the child under a written voluntary promise or by court order.

(e)Property of an illegitimate person passes in accordance with the usual rules of intestate succession to his or her mother and his or her kindred of her blood and to his or her father and his or her kindred of his or her father’s blood, provided that paternity has been established in accordance with subsection (d) of this section.

(f)Nothing contained in this section shall extend the time within which a right of inheritance or a right to a succession may be asserted beyond the time provided by law relating to distribution and closing of decedents’ estates or to the determination of heirship, or otherwise.

History.Acts 1969, No. 303, § 11; 1979, No. 1015, §§ 1-3; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 61-141, 61-141.1.

Link: Arkansas Codes and Laws

This information is a general guide. Research your state laws for current information or contact a family attorney.

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16 Responses to “Arkansas State Paternity Laws”

  1. Shelia Carson says:

    My ex-husband lives in Arkansas. His girlfriend (who told him from the beginning of their relationship that she was sterile because of Chemo and Radiation Therapy following cancer) has announced that she is pregnant. He travels most of the time. She has spent months living at other residences during the one year relationship. She does not live with him. She lives at her residence. If paternity tests prove he is the father he wants joint custody of the child. Can she deny him visitation or joint custody if he pays her child support?

  2. admin says:


    Thank you for contacting us, unfortunately your question is better answered by legal professional in Arkansas who has experience in these matters. There are reasons and situations where a father would be required to pay support and could be denied visitation and/or joint custody. However, in order to obtain legal joint custody, he will most likely need to hire a lawyer and take this case to a judge who will grant him child custody or visitation. For these and other reasons, we suggest that he seek legal counsel from a family attorney.

  3. Holly Kortan says:

    My son’s ex-girlfriend is pregnant. They weren’t officially dating when the conception took place, but he admits to have unprotected sex with her. She says that she didn’t have sex with anyone else during this time. She wants to put his name on the birth certificate, but we really don’t know if it’s his. I have heard that Arkansas does a mandatory dna testing if the parents aren’t together or there is some question about the paternity of the child — before his name is allowed to be on the birth certificate. Is this true? If the child is his, he will of course take responsibility for it. He needs to know for sure. He is in his first year of college and she is in her second year of college. It would be me and his father paying child support.

  4. admin says:

    Hello Holly,

    Thank you for contacting us, unfortunately your question is better answered by legal professional in Arkansas who has experience in these matters. It is always a good idea to get a DNA Paternity test if there is any doubt as to who the father is.


  5. clarissa says:

    My boyfriend has been married for 7 years but has been separated for 6 and has not seen his wife because they live in different states. now recently she tried contacting him to let him know that she had another baby that is not his but that there trying to get him to pay child support because they are married. she said that she and the father of the baby have been trying to fight that because the father wants to take care of the baby but the court told her that he cant because shes married to my boyfriend. is it true that this is the law in arkansas if ur married but have been legaly separated for 6 years u have to pay child support for a child that is not even yours? and what can u do to stop that so he doesnt have to pay child support.

  6. admin says:


    Thank you for the great question. You are going to want to contact a Family Attorney about this issue. According to the Current Arkansas Paternity Law: Section 28-9-209 Legitimacy of child — Effect.

    (2)A child born or conceived during a marriage is presumed to be the legitimate child of both spouses for the same purposes.

    My understanding is that you and your boyfriend are going to need to prove that he is not the father. This might not be the correct interpretation PLEASE contact a legal professional regarding your situation.

  7. ralph says:

    My brother was forced to pay child support to his ex girl friend in Arkansas. They were together for a little while and broke up. she got pregnant and proceded to get all his personal information at his place of work, first with out his consent or with out him knowing. after the child was born a few years later he was informed the he owed a significant amount of child support( child already 2-3 years old).he asked to do dna testing and was told even if the results came negative he still would have to pay child support, because it was too late to fight the intial petition and because the law says that no child would be deprived of the essentials…
    I find this wrong and kind of unjust. He may not be the parent but still has pay just because the mother said he is… Can u please advise on this matter. Thank you.


  8. admin says:


    It is an unfair and unjust situation. Your brother should contact a Family Attorney in Arkansas and discuss the situation with them. We can not offer legal advise which is what I believe you brother needs.

    Thank you,

  9. contraceptive pill says:

    Can I copy your article to my blog? Thank you.

  10. admin says:

    Please go right ahead. Thanks for the interest.

  11. Lou says:

    I was just informed that I am being summoned for a paternity test. The child is about 16-17 years old now. She told me after what was a one night stand all those years ago that she was pregnant about a week before I shipped to Basic Training. While I was gone I attemped to stay in contact but she told me she did not want me to have anything to do with the child. About 2 years ago my current job cause us to cross paths again. I was contacted by email stating they didnt want anything from me but she was asking questions about her real father and just wanted to meet me. The mother is married (for about13-14 years)and her and her husband have another child and he has been in all aspects her father. I had often thought about the child and even attempt to contact the mother once about 14 years ago. She chose not to contact me back. I agreed to meet the child. But contraversy with my current wife and wanting not to have problem in my family and children. I had to end visits. It seems now they are mad and wanting something….What are the chances that they are wanting child support and do they have any right to it…and if so how far back and for how long? Any posible answers??
    Thank you.

  12. admin says:

    Hello Lou,

    We recommend that you contact a family law attorney in your area for assistance. We are unable to advise you about the specific laws concerning child support.

    Best Wishes,
    The Staff at DNA Identifiers

  13. Amy Meyers says:

    Me and my husband currently live in Kansas he has a 12yr old son who’s mother moved him out of state 10yrs ago. My husband is ordered to pay child support but does not get visitation rights and has only seen his son 1 time. The mother left a note on my husbands door stating “if you want to see your son call this number” he called the number when he got home from work and it had already been disconted. SRS had sent him a court order to pertake in a paternity test but he thought he had to pay $800.00 which he did not have at the time so he didnt show up. At this point is there anything we can do to get a paternity test done in the state of Arkansas?

  14. admin says:

    Hello Amy,

    You can always do a DNA test the question at this point is will the mother and or child be available for testing. The only way to compel someone to participate in a DNA test is with a court order. We are not a legal office and can’t help you decide if you can get or how to get a court order. Based on you message we recommend you contact a family attorney and review your options.

    The Staff at DNA Identifiers

  15. serena says:

    i am currently pregnant, i concieved jan.18, my x bf says that the child is his but theres no way. me an my fiance were already together.he says he is going to court order a paternity test but i say no, me and my fiance are getting married next week and he is sighning the birth certificate, so i would like to kno if my x can court order a dna test under these sircumstances???

  16. admin says:

    Hello Serena,

    I wish I had a great answer for you but, unfortunately each case is different and each judge makes their own decision. A judge might issue a court order for the DNA test, in which case if you did not participate you could be held in contempt of court.

    Best Wishes,
    The Staff at DNA Identifiers

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