Thursday, September 18, 2014
Paternity Statute of Limitations
Mississippi has a statute of limitations on paternity. A child or someone acting on their behalf must seek an adjudication of paternity within three (3) years of the child reaching age twenty-one (21). Miss. Code Annotated 15-1-49 and Knight v. Moore, 396 So.2d 31, 34-35 (Miss. 1981). However, this is where it gets strange, under Mississippi Code Annotated 91-1-15(3) an illegitimate may seek a declaration of paternity for inheritance purposes within one year of the date of death of the putative father or within ninety days of the date of the first publication of the notice to creditors, whichever comes first. This appears to be a good reason to advise clients where there are possible unknown children with no prior adjudication of paternity to wait until one year from date of death to cut off any claims.