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Legal Information: Montana


May 1, 2019

If my child was conceived from rape, can the offender (parent) get custodial rights or visitation?

If your child was conceived due to rape or sexual assault, either of the following could be a reason that the offender loses parental rights:

  • If the offender gets convicted of sexual intercourse without consent, the offender automatically loses all parental and custodial rights (assuming that certain procedures were followed in the criminal case).1
  • If the offender gets convicted of any felony in which sexual intercourse occurred, a petition can be filed for the offender’s parental rights to be terminated.If the offender was a minor at the time the felony was committed and was adjudicated a “delinquent youth” based on the crime, the same standard applies.2 Generally, the county attorney, attorney general, or an attorney hired by the county would be the one to file the petition to terminate the offender’s rights, not the victimized parent.3

1 R.C.M. §§ 45-5-503(8); 46-1-401
2 R.C.M. § 41-3-609(1)(c)
3 R.C.M. § ​41-3-422(2)