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Mississippi law presumes that a child born to a husband and wife is the natural offspring of the couple. Paternity is presumed until proven otherwise in court. For a child conceived out of wedlock during the marriage, the law still recognizes the husband as the legal father who has parental rights and responsibilities to the child.
The alleged father or the minor child may file a complaint for establishing paternity. This filing must occur before the child reaches 18 years of age. If the court rules the man as the father, he is the biological and legal father. With the legal designation comes certain rights and responsibilities. He may sue for custody or visitation rights, but he may also be responsible for child support. The court may also declare the child as the father's legal heir.